Tuesday, 3 July 2012

FAMILY BREAKERS - ZIONIST FREEMASONIC JEHOVAH WITNESSES CHRISTOPHER DEAN AND JAYNE HARRINGTON

  Jehovah’s Witnesses Cult Exposed - Documentary Film

Amazing Documentary TV

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FAMILY BREAKERS - ZIONIST FREEMASONIC JEHOVAH WITNESSES CHRISTOPHER DEAN AND JAYNE HARRINGTON

DEVILS IN DISGUISE !

 Jehovah's Witnesses Exposed! Jordan Maxwell and Santos Bonacci

One or the main reasons why I decided at 51 not to give my son a STEP-MOTHER

What used to be a happy family in 1991 was shattered in 1996 by Zionist Freemasonic Jehovah Witnesses and an unfaithful and treacherous wife!

While I was holidaying in France in 1996 without my wife who had refused to accompany my son and me for unexplained reasons, I found out on my return that she had been cheating on me behind my back with our business partners the Harringtons, and in particular Christopher Dean Harrington, a "Jehovah Witness" of the Zionist Freemasonic Sect of Colchester, Essex.    

My wife, Christopher and his wife Jayne swindled all my assets in our property development "Castle Homes" (22 flats at Westminister Court) where my wife and I brought in 100% of the capital.  

The land on which three blocks of flats was to be built was owned by Christopher, but heavily mortgaged, up to around £180,000 and he could not repay the bank back or find finances for his building project anywhere and a sign was on his home property for sale/repossession when I agreed to finance the flats when my friend Stanley Fox (another "Jehovah Witness" from Stanway, Essex who I saw regularly every week as a guest for Bible Studies and other matters at my home) told me about Chris' difficulties!

When I confronted Christopher at his home in December 1996, I received a letter from his solicitor on behalf of my wife giving me 30 days or so to leave my home and business premises.

The root of all evil is indeed the love of money, and power, of course!

BAFS

  THE MAIN REASON WHY I DID NOT FIGHT FOR MY RIGHTS (AND THOSE OF MY SON) AS A SOVEREIGN FREEMAN-ON-THE -LAND UNDER COMMON LAW WAS BECAUSE THE LAW COURTS ARE RACIST MARITIME AND STATUTORY COURTS OF COMMERCE RUN BY JUDAICS AND FREEMASONS FOR PROFIT THAT HAVE PLEDGED ALLEGIANCE NOT TO THE PEOPLE, BUT TO AN ILLEGITIMATE AND MURDEROUS QUEEN, AND WHERE JUSTICE IS ABSENT UNLESS I TOOK IT IN MY OWN HANDS!  BUT, MY SON IS MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN ANYTHING ELSE!

 Marlon Brando & His House Of Pain-pt.1 
 

Marlon Brando & his House Of Pain-pt2 

Mel Gibson's stepmother requests restraining order

Claims he spat at her during argument

Mel Gibson's stepmother has requested a restraining order against him, according to reports.

Teddy Joye Hicks Gibson claims that the Aussie actor spat in her face during an argument and has tried to sabotage her marriage to his father Hutton – who she wed in 2001.

 

Mel Gibson... allegedly 'acted like a wild man' (Copyright: Rex)

78-year-old Teddy says that both Gibson and his sister Maura manipulated Hutton, 93, into filing for a divorce from her, because she didn't approve of controversial 'ozone treatments' that she believes Gibson was pressuring him to undergo for various ailments.

[Related story: Can Mel Gibson save his career?]
During one row, according to TMZ, she alleges: “Mel began yelling and saying, 'f*ck this and f*ck that' while leveling other extremely offensive language at me.”

In another, she says: “Mel became incensed and began acting like a wild man. He was so close that I could feel his spit hitting my face.”

She added that the actor's eyes looked like they were 'bulging out of his head' and that she was 'paralysed with fear' during the incident.

She also says that Gibson is trying to force her out of her home, because it is owned by a charity that is run by him.

Teddy has requested that Gibson stay 100 metres away from her, a request that will be considered during a hearing next month.

The news comes after Gibson alleged that Teddy was guilty of 'elder abuse' over her objections to her husband's medication, which she believes to be prolonging his suffering.

Why Do Ex-Witnesses Criticize The Watchtower Society And Jehovah’s Witnesses?

By The Atheist Geek | July 23, 2012

So why do ex-Witnesses like me criticize the Watchtower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses? Many Witnesses assume that we harbor some secret jealousy of them, that we’re deranged, or that we’re just a bunch of meanies in general. In reality, there are many sane reasons why ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses criticize the Watchtower Society publicly.

1. To Warn Others About Problems We Perceive With “The Truth”

Warning Label

Most ex-Witnesses left the organization because we believed something was wrong with it. We point out these flaws to help others avoid learning about them the way we had to. The hard way.

Many Witnesses accuse us of nitpicking and insist that there are no good reasons to leave the Society’s truth. They say that the Watchtower Society is Jehovah’s one and only organization, hence, none of its human-wrought imperfections really matter. But this assumes a lot. What if the number one fault we find with the truth is that it isn’t true? That shifts the priorities around, don’t you think?

Arguments between ex-Witnesses and Jehovah’s Witnesses about the Society’s truth are as timeless as anything else. Headway is rarely made on either side. But like it or not, we just don’t believe in the Society’s truth any more. So telling us that it’s flaws don’t matter doesn’t really help the situation. Isn’t this really obvious when you think about it?

 2. To Defend Ourselves Against The Way The Society Portrays Us

Self Defence

If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you may not fully appreciate just how hard the organization is on former members, just as it is on other religions, governments, and so-called “worldly people.” Witnesses sometimes lament what they see as attacks on their beliefs or their way of life, often without noticing how many ways that they – and the Society – have returned the favor. How many articles in the Watchtower have portrayed worldly people as lazy, cruel, stupid, or dishonest? I doubt anyone can count that high. Yet how many more articles have portrayed ex-Witnesses as evil nutcases who keep lashing out at the Society like a bunch of ungrateful children, while also claiming that we have no good reasons for doing so? (If you didn’t notice the irony in that last sentence, you should really read it again.)

You get used to things like this if you see them often enough. But the reality is that it’s easy to be hated and despised by “the world” when you keep picking on it all of the time. The same can be said when you demonize former members. We like it about as much as you like hearing our complaints about Jehovah’s Witnesses. Worst of all, many ex-Witnesses find ourselves being accused of some pretty crazy things by the Witnesses in our lives because the Watchtower magazine said we were doing them!

That’s not to say that every complaint is just tit-for-tat. But many of us want to know what the Society is saying about former Witnesses because our loved ones are reading every word. Sometimes, what you see is nothing more than our reaction, or our response, to those comments.

By the way, if we’re the bad guys for criticizing the Society, what does that make the Society when it criticizes us, other religions, other people, other governments, etc? Guys, this isn’t a one way street.

3. To Encourage Reforms Within The Organization

Don't be afraid of change

Sadly, I have to say that this one feels like a pipe dream most of the time. Authority within the Watchtower Society usually flows in one direction; from the governing body on down. 1 Nevertheless, it is probably one of the more noble reasons for criticism you will find listed here.

Ex-Witnesses who want to see the Society work on its issues (we definitely think it has issues) simply want to make life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and former Jehovah’s Witnesses, a whole lot better. Ex-Witnesses like these aren’t lashing out like petulant children, they aren’t trying to hurt anyone, and they certainly hold a more optimistic view of the Society than many other exxers. They are simply trying to make the Society’s truth a better place to live.

I realize that many Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that they are miserable. But for me, and many other ex-Witnesses, life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was truly miserable. Yet it sure didn’t have to be.

Note, I’m not talking about making changes to doctrine so much as to the Society’s practices. As an atheist, I really don’t care if the Society teaches that the Trinity is true or that all good dogs go to Heaven. From my perspective, the Society is an authoritarian patriarchy led by men who seem pretty incompetent at guiding others toward a productive, positive way of life. This is not, in my opinion, a formula for happiness. So I count myself among those who would like to see some changes. I just don’t see anything wrong with that.

4. To Share Our Pain With Others Who Understand

Are you alone?

Many ex-Witnesses have been shunned by their relatives and former friends. Or we have loved ones who are still Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we are forced to watch them sink deeper and deeper into something we believe to be harmful. Again, the fact that Jehovah’s Witnesses may not see anything harmful about the Society is irrelevant. We do, and that’s what matters here. These, and other things, make it hard to be former Jehovah’s Witnesses at times.

Many people don’t really understand this. But you know who does? Others who have gone through it.
Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses are a community in our own right. Sometimes, we just have to share our experiences and seek support from other exxers who understand. If you see a former Witness posting complaints in an online forum or social media website, they aren’t necessarily trying to denounce the Society per se. Sometimes, they’re just looking for support from those who get it, just as Jehovah’s Witnesses who experience hardships seek out other Jehovah’s Witnesses. It’s perfectly human, and there’s nothing weird or “mentally diseased” about it.

Conclusions

Declaration of war

Ex-Witnesses don’t have to be obsessed with hurting the organization to criticize it. Personally, I think it would be easier if the Society simply reformed itself into a more positive force in the lives of its followers. And yes, by that, I mean to say that it falls far short of that goal in my eyes. That is a criticism, but it isn’t meant to hurt. It’s simply the way I feel, just as the Society frequently criticizes other groups of people when it finds fault with them. If Jehovah’s Witnesses are going to continue criticizing others, then I’m afraid they’ll have to grow a thick skin of their own. Not that some of them haven’t, but far too many just aren’t there yet.
To Jehovah’s Witnesses: guys, you simply can’t hit us in the jaw and then cry foul when we hit back.
Especially if you refuse to have a real dialogue with us because you’re scared we’ll corrupt you. That just isn’t reasonable. Know what I mean?

There are many reasons why ex-Witnesses criticize the Society and its Witnesses. Some of us really are lashing out at the organization that hurt us, but it’s hardly fair to assume all of us are doing it for this reason alone. And I really don’t know of any exxers who I would describe as jealous of the Society. To be honest, this sounds pretty absurd to most people. It sounds like a parent trying to reassure their child that the kids at school are only picking on him because they’re jealous of his freckles. Never mind his coke bottle glosses or the fact he has an extra nipple on his forehead.

Accusing us of being crazy, jealous, or even under demonic control isn’t exactly reaching across the aisle, either. These are not the kinds of assumptions you make about a group of people if you want to have an honest, open dialogue with them. These are the kinds of assumptions you make about your enemies. It’s also how you make enemies.

If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and you can’t handle it when we criticize you, why not sue for peace by making changes within your own camp? Doing away with disfellowshipping and acknowledging that many of our complaints are valid would be a great way to start a real dialogue.
  1. Yes, many Witnesses will say that Jehovah is the top man in the organization. Just as Catholics, Mormons, Methodists, and others will say, too. Until one god or another pops down here to clear up all this confusion, that’s a pretty unreasonable assertion to make in my opinion. Sorry guys, but as far as I’m concerned, the Society is run by humans.
  2.  
  3. Plaintiff Awarded $28 Million in Jehovah’s Witness Child Molestation Case

    On June 17th, 2012 the New York Times reported that a Northern California jury awarded $28 million in damages to Candace Conti who said the Jehovah’s Witnesses allowed an adult member of a Fremont, Calif., church to molest her when she was 9 years old (Superior Court of California, case no. HG11558324). Molestation lawsuits encompass a broad range of circumstances including criminal charges filed on the behalf of a molested child. Now, AttorneyOne.com, a recognized authority on law, can provide helpful, proven advice and simple solutions including how to get in contact with legal counsel so anyone can easily and inexpensively deal with cases of Molestation. [http://www.attorneyone.com/molestation/

    San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 25, 2012 

    The media spotlight is often a double-edged sword. No one knows this better than Candace Conti and children that have been Molested. And yet, gossip and rumor-mongering aside, the real story here is being overlooked according to Sean Burke of AttorneyOne.
  4.  On June 17th, 2012 the New York Times reported that a Northern California jury awarded $28 million in damages to Candace Conti who said the Jehovah’s Witnesses allowed an adult member of a Fremont, Calif., church to molest her when she was a child (Superior Court of California, case no. HG11558324). Molestation lawsuits encompass a broad range of circumstances including criminal charges filed on the behalf of a molested child. In the lawsuit, Conti, claims that in 1995 and 1996, when she was 9 and 10 years old and a member of the North Fremont Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she was repeatedly molested by a fellow congregant, Jonathan Kendrick.

    According to the National Children’s Alliance, 187,862 children around the country reported sexual abuse during 2011. Data from the National Alert Registry reveal that most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.

    AttorneyOne.com, a recognized authority on law, can provide helpful advice and simple solutions including how to get in contact with legal counsel so that, in case of Molestation, someone can easily and inexpensively deal with it. As Mr. Burke, director of Media Relations for AttorneyOne.com, added, “What all this information really illustrates is that threat of Molestation remains. For that reason, our focus should squarely fall on getting the word out and assisting people in finding the right legal assistance.”

    Every year 3.3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving 6 million children; 9.2% of child abuse concerns sexual abuse. More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way (ChildHelp.org).

    AttorneyOne.com has further information on Molestation lawsuits including how to get in contact with legal counsel. 

    Headquartered in San Diego, CA Attorney One was founded in 2004 and is not a law firm. They offer a nationwide legal service which helps consumers find the best representation for their legal needs. You can learn more about Attorney One at our website http://www.attorneyone.com. You can also find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AttorneyOne. Checkout earlier news from us at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/9/prweb9908292.htm.

    Sean Burke
    Attorney One
    1-877-230-7343
    Email Information




    Woman molested by Jehovah's Witnesses member at age NINE wins $28million in America's BIGGEST religious sex abuse payout

    By Snejana Farberov
    |
    In a landmark ruling, a California jury has awarded record $28million in damages to a woman who had accused the Jehovah’s Witnesses of allowing one of its adult members to molest her as a child. 

    Alameda County jurors awarded $7million in compensatory damages last Wednesday and another $21million in punitive damages the following day to 26-year-old Candace Conti, her attorney, Rick Simons, said.

    'This is the largest jury verdict for a single victim in a religious child abuse case in the country,’ Simons added. 

    Candace Conti, 26, sued Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to address her sexual abuse at the hands of one of the congregants
    Victim: Candace Conti, 26, sued Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to address her sexual abuse at the hands of one of the congregants
    In her lawsuit, Conti said that between 1995 and 1996, when she was nine and ten years old, and a member of the North Fremont Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she was repeatedly molested by a fellow congregant, Jonathan Kendrick.
    Both her parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses at the time of the abuse, Conti said.
    ‘I was trying to be the best Jehovah’s Witness I could be at that time,’ she told msnbc.com.

    While it is unusual for victims of sexual abuse to be identified in the press, Conti has decided to go public with her allegations to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward, Simons said.

    A Facebook page dedicated to Conti has been created where nearly 500 supporters have expressed their gratitude to the 26-year-old for coming forward.  

    Johnathan Kendrick was convicted of misdemeanor child molestation in 1994 and lewd acts with a minor in 2004
    Predator: Johnathan Kendrick was convicted of misdemeanor child molestation in 1994 and lewd acts with a minor in 2004

    ‘Nothing can bring back my childhood,’ Conti told the Oakland Tribune. ‘But through this (verdict) and through, hopefully, a change in their policy, we can make something good come out of it.’

    Conti also claimed in her suit that the religion’s national leaders formed a policy in 1989 that instructed the religion’s elders to keep child sex abuse accusations within the group secret to avoid lawsuits.

    Fremont elders followed that policy when they chose to conceal the fact that Kendrick had been convicted in 1994 of misdemeanor child molestation in Alameda County from the congregation, according to Simons.

    JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES BELIEFS REVEALED

    There is one God Almighty--a Spirit Being with a body but not a human body. 

    There is one God and no Trinity.

    God created the heavens and earth in six days, but each ‘day’ is equal to thousands of years. God created and controls all processes and events.

    Christ is Lord and Savior, but not God (Jehovah) incarnate, not a God-man but inferior to God.

    No soul remains after death. 


    The original sin caused humans to inherit death and sin. 

    Abortion is wrong. Homosexuality is a serious sin. Gender roles are defined: Men are the head of the household and women are loving caretakers.

    Service in the armed forces or any form of allegiance to government is prohibited.

    Blood transfusions are considered wrong, as God said the soul is in the blood. 

    Bone marrow transplants are left to the individual conscience. 

                          source: beliefnet.com
     
    Kendrick was never criminally charged in the case involving Conti, but besides the 1994 conviction, he was convicted in 2004 of lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14 years and sexual battery involving a restrained person, records show.

    Kendrick, aged 58, has been registered as a sex offender in California. He currently resides in Oakley.

    Kendrick was ordered to pay 60 per cent of the judgment, but Simons said there would be no attempt to collect any money from him, in part, because he would not be able to pay the judgment.

    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — the organization overseeing the Jehovah’s Witnesses —would be responsible for 40 per cent, according to Conti’s lawyer.

    ‘The ultimate goal of the lawsuit was to have a change in policy, to be able to ID these people, child molesters, to the congregation to protect children,’ Conti told msnbc.com. 

    ‘Secondarily, to have silent ones come forward and tell their stories and to bring to light that overall issue of violence and the hush-hush policy.’

    Jim McCabe, an attorney for the congregation, said he was ‘stunned’ by the verdict and planned to appeal it. He denied Jehovah’s Witnesses has a secrecy policy concerning child sex abuse and accused Conti’s lawyer of twisting the facts of the case.

    ‘The Jehovah’s Witnesses hate child abuse and believe it’s a plague on humanity,’ McCabe told the Tribune. ‘Jonathan Kendrick was not a leader or a pastor, he was just a rank-and-file member. This is a tragic case where a member of a religious group has brought liability on the group for actions he alone may have taken.’

    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which oversees the Jehovah's Witnesses, would have to pay 40 per cent of the damages
    Accountable: The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which oversees the Jehovah's Witnesses, would have to pay 40 per cent of the damages

    Jehovah's Witnesses is a Christian denomination noted for its non-traditional interpretation of the Bible. Members are best known for preaching door-to-door, and distributing religious literature such as The Watchtower and Awake! magazines.

    Simons said his client sued the church in 2011 after trying and failing to get Jehovah’s Witnesses in Southern California and in Fremont to change the secrecy policy.

    ‘The money is the only way left for her to force Jehovah’s Witnesses to stop keep hiding known sex offenders within their congregation,’ Simons said.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160605/Candance-Conti-molested-Jehovahs-Witnesses-member-age-NINE-wins-28milion.html#ixzz2EnO3rxJh
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook



     
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    $3 Billion Jehovah’s Witnesses Class Action Over Child Abuse

    December 1, 2012
    jwnews standard logo

    $3 Billion class action lawsuit on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses children

    December 1, 2012
    AUSTRALIA
    A $3 Billion class action lawsuit is being launched in Australia on behalf of up to 6,160 children within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Documents relating to the class action reveal over 14,000 serious criminal breaches of mandatory child protection laws, committed against these children by elders and “ministers of religion” within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past 4 years.
    The Victorian government “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religions and other Organisations” is currently investigating the allegations, and is expected to hold a public hearing in relation to this in early 2013.
    jw class action 001
    JW Survivors – a victim advocacy group for survivors of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia – is currently bringing together the final elements needed to launch a class action lawsuit on behalf of up to 6,160 victims of criminal child abuse committed within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria, Australia, directly in relation to criminal breaches of the Working with Children Act 2005, and primarily committed against these children by the church between July 1, 2008 and December 12, 2011.
    On July 26, 2011, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, were formally charged in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria with the committing of criminal offences, against children within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, by their refusal to comply with mandatory child protection laws, as legislated in the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005. (Case No’s: B12083527, B12083108, and B12082206 respectively.) The period of non-compliance, as documented in the Charge Sheets, covered from July 1, 2008, through to July 22, 2011. Full compliance with the working with children laws became mandatory for all “religious organisations” on July 1, 2008.


    The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to answer the Summons to appear in Court on September 13, 2011, either in person or by legal counsel. The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses also refused to answer the Summons to appear in Court. They were again summoned to appear again on October 11, 2011. They failed to appear or to send legal counsel. A third time they were summoned to appear in the Magistrates’ Court on November 9, 2011. They again failed to appear or to send legal counsel. A fourth time they were summoned to appear on December 6, 2011. Yet again they failed to appear or to send legal counsel. A fifth time they were summoned to appear on February 21, 2012, to answer the criminal charged filed against them. Once again they failed to appear or to send legal counsel. Arrest Warrants, for each individual member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, were thereupon presented to the Magistrates’ Court by Acting Prosecutor Steven Unthank.

    At the same time the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions intervened in the criminal court cases and “discontinued” the criminal prosecution; citing that the ongoing prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, in relation to their refusal to comply with mandatory child protection laws was “not in the public interest.” Criminal breaches of the Working with Children Act 2005 continue to be committed within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the rate of over 1,000 offences per week. This is currently the subject of a formal investigation by the Victorian “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religions and other Organisations”, following a written submission made to the Inquiry by a Jehovah’s Witness child. It is understood that this submission was the only submission received by the Inquiry from an actual child.


    During the above mentioned criminal court cases it was revealed in court that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia et al., had knowingly breached Section 35 of the Working with Children Act 2005 – by engaging and continuing to engage persons (“ministers of religion”) in child-related work, knowing that it is child-related work, and knowing that the worker (“minister of religion”) has not passed a working with children check.

    Working with Children Act 2005

    In total there were over 2,000 “ministers of religion” and volunteers directly engaged in child-related work within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses in well over 100 congregations and church operated internal Ministry Schools with 1000’s of enrolled children, in the State of Victoria, that had not complied with the Working with Children Act 2005 – from July 1, 2008 up until the filing of criminal charges against the church on July 26, 2011. The Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses has refused to explain to these 2,000 “ministers of religion” that each of them may have also individually committed criminal offences under the working with children laws. Requests by parents within the church for an explanation as to whether their child may have been a “victim of crime” have been met with silence.
    14,600 serious offences (Level 7 offences) had been documented committed against the Act by the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria against some 6,160 children. Had the Director of Public Prosecutions not “discontinued” the prosecution, in relation to the first 5 sets of criminal charges against the church in relation to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, then the church could have been prosecuted for all 14,600 criminal offences committed across the entire state in over 100 congregations. The potential fine’s the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their administrative corporation the Watch Tower Society, were facing was up to:

    AU$3 billion ($2,961,020,160.00)
    In the State of Victoria, breaches of the working with children laws are a Level 7 offence and carry up to 2 years imprisonment, in addition to a potential fine of $33,801.60 (240 penalty units) for an individual and $169,008.00 (1,200 penalty units) for a corporation or body. Source: Victorian Department of Justice web site.

    A statement issued by Steven Unthank, who is putting together the class action on behalf of the primary Plaintiff (a Jehovah’s Witness child), explained that:

    “The Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses was allowed to escape accountability, by both the State of Victoria and Victoria Police, in relation to their wholesale criminal breaches of the working with children laws. Both the state and the police refused, or declined, to enforce these mandatory child protection laws, thereby knowingly allowing criminal offences to be committed by the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their “ministers of religion”, against thousands of innocent children. These thousands of children, who through no fault of their own, have had criminal offences committed against them. They are the innocent victims in all of this. These children are entitled to recognition as victims of crimes, are entitled to an apology for the crimes committed against them, and are entitled to compensation as such. This class action is about justice for the children.”
    On May 12, 2012, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses became aware that a potential class action lawsuit was being pursued in relation to their failure to comply with the working with children laws.
    On October 6, 2012, at the Annual Meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses, held in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A., during the discourse “When Does Jesus Appoint the Slave “Over All His Belongings”?”, it was publicly announced that the worldwide Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses (the slave of Christ) has just undergone a major re-structuring of ‘doctrinal teachings’ and asset ownership, the net result being that the church now claims it no longer has billions of dollars in assets or ‘belongings’ but is, from a legal position, an unincorporated association with no assets whatsoever.


    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE JW CLASS ACTION:
    JW NEWS
    Article reprinted with kind permission of JW Class Action.
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    Megan and Candace – Casualties of Known Molesters

    October 10, 2012

    Megan and Candace – Casualties of Known Molesters

    by Barbara Anderson

    Barbara Anderson
    In most child sexual abuse cases the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts – relatives, neighbors, coaches, teachers, ministers. And, incredibly, in too many of these cases, the abuse was preventable because the abuser was known by others to have molested before, but that fact was not known to those who could have protected the child.
    In 1994, both Megan and Candace were sexually abused and Megan died at the hands of convicted pedophile, Jesse Timmendequas, who was “a known child molester.” Law enforcement knew he was a molester, but no one told seven-year-old Megan Kanka’s parents there were three convicted sex offenders living across the street from them.

    1994 – Megan’s Law

    Due to public outcry, one month after Megan’s rape and murder on July 29, the New Jersey legislature passed Megan’s Law requiring registration and public notification of sex offenders that became federal law in 1996, and all states have passed some form of the law.
    One federally funded study in 2009 determined that Megan’s law had no effect on sexual reoffenses. When informed of the study, Mrs. Kanka remarked that the purpose of the law was for parents to know where the offenders were living. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending.”
    Jake Goldenflame, a convicted sex offender, supports the law. “Megan’s Law is not there to keep me from re-offending,” he said. Megan’s Law is there so that you can keep me from re-offending by knowing who I am, keeping your eyes on me.”


    1994 – Watchtower informed of Megan’s Law

    Shortly after learning about the New Jersey legislature passing Megan’s Law in 1994, I informed two officials of the law’s passage at the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, NY, the business arm that guides the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Two years previously I had been a volunteer worker at the Watchtower’s huge complex in Brooklyn, NY for nearly eleven years. For four of those years I was a staff member in their Writing Department where I did research.
    After leaving the Writing Department at the end of 1992, I continued to help the department from my home in Tennessee by accepting research assignments. My interest in Megan’s Law had to do with my knowledge of an increase in reports of allegations of child abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses which were being reported to the Watchtower.

    In the fall of 1991, while working in the Writing Department, I learned there were men appointed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to serve as elders or assistants to elders who had been accused of molestation or were confessed molesters. Also, there were men remaining in their positions of responsibility after they confessed to a fellow elder of molesting a child at least two or three years previously. Inasmuch as these men claimed repentance and were observed to have engaged in “godly acts befitting of repentance” for a number of years, they were appointed to, or continued to serve in, leadership positions. Their past remained a secret.

    A 1989 policy letter from Watchtower to all elders stated that certain matters, including child abuse, were to be kept confidential to avoid lawsuits and financial penalties. In this way, pedophiles were protected from exposure and went on to molest other children. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, through this policy, had made a determination that its own needs would be placed above protection of children and showed an indifference to children who were placed at risk by the presence of known sexual abusers within the congregations and the secrecy that surrounded it.

    In every case, members in Witness congregations where these men served were never informed that a known molester was in their midst. The consequences of such secrecy were more and more complaints of sexual abuse committed by men in oversight positions coming into the Watchtower’s Service Department. Owing to all of this, a number of us in the Writing Department were determined to see that protection of children was paramount, not protection of an organization.

    In 1997, the Watchtower developed what I call a “known molester policy.” Some thought it was Watchtower’s child sexual abuse policy, but it didn’t protect kids, just the opposite, in that, before appointment, if a remorseful, repentant man wasn’t perceived (or known) by the community and the congregation to be a “former” child molester, he could be considered for a position of trust.

    Back in 1994, it was the requirement of Megan’s Law for “community notification” when sex offenders moved into an area which caused me to call the Writing Department. I pointed out that elder notification to the flock of a possible or convicted sex offender who was hiding in plain sight in the congregation due to the Watchtower’s confidentiality policy was the way to go.

    Required notification of such an individual would be the best way to protect Jehovah’s Witnesses children from a monster in the room which no one knew about, someone they called “brother” or “sister.” I was emphatic that unless the confidentiality policy was replaced with a notification policy, one of these days, huge lawsuits and scandal would rock the very foundations of the Watchtower and could destroy it.

    1994 – Candace Conti’s molestation

    Unknown to me, nine-year-old Candace Conti, began to be molested in 1994, the abuse continuing for two years. Her molester, Jonathan Kendrick, was a known child molester because he had been convicted by the authorities for the sexual abuse of another child two years earlier.

    Kendrick’s sex offender record was also known by the elders of the Fremont California Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but they did nothing to protect the congregation’s children, including young Candace because they kept what they knew about him secret.

    They did remove Kendrick from his unpaid assistant-minister’s position but no one in the congregation knew why.  Here then was an example of elders following the church’s national policy to keep sex abuse allegations secret. It was this silence that allowed Kendrick to abuse Candace. Because of the policy of secrecy that the church followed, information was withheld from the very people who could have prevented the abuse of Candace, and why her parents didn’t know their friend and fellow congregant, Jonathan Kendrick, was a sexual predator.


    Candace Conti sues the Watchtower and elders

    In 2011, Ms. Conti, then 25, sued the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York for keeping reports of child sex abusers within Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations secret.
    It was during the Conti trial in June 2012 that a 1989 Watchtower policy letter to elders was introduced. That letter was a major factor in determining the outcome of the trial because it stated that certain matters, including child abuse, were to be kept confidential to avoid lawsuits and financial penalties.

    Also sued were three elders in the Fremont Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Loyalty to a religious organization kept the elders from doing the right thing. In their defense these men claimed they did their duty towards Candace by “keeping an eye on Kendrick.” Unlike Jake Goldenflame, the convicted sex offender, who said Megan’s Law was there so people could keep an eye on him, Fremont elders did not inform parents so they could protect their children by keeping an eye on Kendrick.

    On June 14th, Day 10 of the trial, the day after the jury awarded Ms. Conti compensatory damages of $7M and was about to decide on punitive damages, Robert Schnack, Defendants attorney, stated in his closing arguments to the jury:
    “I sincerely believe that Watchtower does not need to be punished by another monetary award. Why is that? Ms. Conti said she wanted to change policies. That’s why she brought this suit. And we feel bad for Ms. Conti. But I can assure you, and I can assure her, that Watchtower’s policies continue to evolve. And I can safely say that, with her verdict yesterday, Ms. Conti has succeeded. I encourage you to award no punitive damages in this case.”
    The jury thought otherwise and awarded Ms. Conti $21M in punitive damages. The Watchtower wasn’t found guilty of failing to report molestation. They were guilty of negligence, malice, and child endangerment. It’s obvious from the damage awards that Watchtower policies did not evolve to the degree needed to protect children and more was required.

    New rules in October 1, 2012 elders’ letter

    Have Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders gotten the message that parents should be told if a confessed or accused child molester is worshipping with them? Well, yes, but only if the Witnesses branch office determines the individual is a “predator.”

    According to a new letter to the elders, dated October 2, 2012, which updates all previous letters regarding child abuse, if the elders think a person who has been known to have sexually abused a child, although seemingly cleaned up his/her life, is a “predator,” the elders must call the Witnesses branch office. If the branch office determines that an individual is to be considered a predator, then two elders are assigned to meet with the parents of minor children in order to provide a warning. Also, the “predator” should be told that parents have been discreetly informed.  So, for the most part, the secrecy still remains. In Candace Conti’s case, her molester would never have fit the profile of “predator”; hence, her parents would not have been warned.

    Another point Defendants’ Attorney Robert Schnack made in closing arguments:
    “One thing I would ask you to keep in mind. The Jehovah’s Witnesses Church is not the Catholic Church, that it has had verdict after verdict after verdict over the years. It’s been in the press. We are all aware of it. This is the first verdict that the Jehovah’s Witnesses church has faced. So, again, it is not the Catholic Church with multitudes of cases over a couple of decades.”
    “We were on the phone to managing directors of Watchtower and to the elders in the Service Department. And I can tell you they are stunned by the verdict. Again, I mentioned, it is the first one.”
    Yes, the Conti case was “the first verdict that the Jehovah’s Witnesses church has faced” because Watchtower leaders have been secretly settling out-of-court child sexual abuse cases for years. For example, in 2007 there were secret out-of-court settlements with sixteen victims in nine separate cases of child sexual molestation. And, as recently as May 2012, in San Diego, California, there was a secret out-of-court settlement of a case involving six victims of a Witness serial molester – an elder! As is the case with many blameworthy Defendants, when Watchtower leaders settled these cases out-of-court, they acknowledged liability but not responsibility.

    No more secrets

    However, in the Conti case, this religious body refuses to acknowledge responsibility or liability that the church was to blame for Candace’s molestation because on September 21, 2012, a Bond/Undertaking was posted for an appeal of judgment in behalf of Defendants Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, NY, and the North Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Fremont, California, in the amount of $17,277,299.37. Whether the Defendants win or lose their appeal, due to the publicity surrounding the Candace Conti case, no longer is the church’s policy decision to conceal known molesters a secret.
    -End-

    Miscellaneous media coverage involving Barbara Anderson:
    http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com/jw-media.html
    Jehovah’s Witnesses Settle Abuse Cases – Associated Press
    New Evidence in Jehovah’s Witnesses Allegations – MSNBC
    Woman Says Church Covering Up Sexual Abuse – WSMV Nashville
    Child sex-abuse activist Anderson interviewed on national TV show on church allegations – Tullahoma News and Guardian
    UNADFI – French anti-cult organization covers Barbara’s 2009 European Tour
    Videos
    Jehovah’s Witnesses child sexual abuse – NBC Nightly News
    .
    For court documents relating to Candace Conti v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York visit JW Leaks
    JW NEWS
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    State Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses

    September 21, 2012
    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    www.jwnews.org 
    A number of submissions have been received by the “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations,” in relation to the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Friday September 21, 2012
    by Steven Unthank
    The Victoria, Australia, State “Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations,” including the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society, has officially commenced, with the last of the formal submissions being presented to the Inquiry committee on Friday, 21 September, 2012.
    Committee Chair, Ms Georgie Crozier MP said the Committee would now begin the formal process of accepting submissions and finalising the hearing schedule for 2012.
    “The next stage of the Inquiry will involve the Committee analysing submissions and gathering further evidence from key witnesses through its hearing process,” Ms Crozier said.
    “We anticipate hearings will be held in Melbourne and in regional areas from October and into 2013.”

    Information on the Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations can be accessed here:

    A large number of submissions have been received by the Inquiry in relation to the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watch Tower Society, their internal lawyer Vincent Toole and his law firm Vincent Toole Solicitors. Among those who have made submissions include both current and former members of the religion, as well as people who have never been a part of the religion.
    An 11 page submission was made by a young person, under the age of 18, from the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and deals with the failure of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society to comply with child protection laws.
    Another submission was lodged by a current inmate in one of Victoria’s prisons. This submission identifies and names up to 30 members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses involved in child abuse, including child rape, as well as the covering up of child abuse by senior leaders of the religion. Among the individuals identified are current elders, circuit overseers, and members of the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Some of the allegations of child rape go back decades.
    In addition to the submissions, there have been at least three formal requests to publicly appear before the Inquiry to present evidence in relation to the systemic and systematic covering up of child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’ Witnesses. One of these requests is a group request from a large number of people wanting to appear to give their evidence before the Inquiry committee. It is understood that at least an entire day is being allocated to hear their verbal submission.
    A total of three submissions were made by Steven Unthank, two of which will require him to appear before the Inquiry committee to give evidence. One submission specifically deals with the breaches of the Working with Children Act 2005 and the criminal prosecution of the entire corporate and religious hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.
    In support of his submissions Steven Unthank has written and prepared a total of three separate submission documents totally 70 pages, 150 pages, and one totally over 500 pages. In addition to this, Unthank has provided a total of 60 supporting documents and statements totalling over 2000 pages, as well as a large collection of internal and confidential letters and documents from the Watch Tower Society. Also presented as evidence to the Inquiry committee is a compete set of audio recordings of a secret child rape investigation which took place within one of the Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Melbourne. In this investigation, the Watch Tower Society assembled a special interstate Judicial Investigating Team, which was then flown into Melbourne, Victoria, to conduct the investigation.
    In July 2012, a document was sent out by the Inquiry to all government departments inviting them to make a submission in relation to their dealings with religious organisations over compliance with the Working with Children Act 2005. Those departments invited to specifically address this subject within their submission to the current Inquiry include: Victoria Police (Working with Children Check Unit and the Soca/Sosa Unit), the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner, the Department of Justice (Working with Children Check Unit), and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
    This inclusion in the Inquiry came about following a verbal submission made by Steven Unthank to the “Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry” on June 8, 2011, in relation to breaches of the Working with Children laws by the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society. Unthank’s submission was the only one received by the previous Inquiry in relation to breaches of the Working with Children laws by any organisation, religious r otherwise.
    Below is a facsimile copy of part of the official document issued by the Parliament of Victoria, that contains the subject and questions specifically asked by the Inquiry, for various government departments to address, in relation to the Working with Children laws and their application within religious organisations. (Note: the background watermark is part of the Parliament of Victoria’s official seal.)
    Submissions and documents relating to inquiry have been published on the JW LEAKS web site.

    About the Inquiry

    The inquiry into religious organisations and their handling of child abuse is being conducted by the bipartisan Family and Community Development Committee of Parliament,  which was established under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003. It will have powers to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence and to summons documents necessary for its deliberations.
    All evidence and proceedings will be subject to Parliamentary privilege, and the inquiry will be able to take evidence in private hearings where it considers it appropriate in the interests of victims or for other reasons.
    The terms of reference for the inquiry were approved by the Governor in Council on Tuesday morning, April 17, 2012.
    TERMS OF REFERENCE
    The Family and Community Development Committee is requested to inquire into, consider and report to the Parliament on the processes by which religious and other non-government organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by personnel within their organisations, including:
    1. the practices, policies and protocols in such organisations for the handling of allegations of criminal abuse of children, including measures put in place by various organisations in response to concerns about such abuse within the organisation or the potential for such abuse to occur;
    2. whether there are systemic practices in such organisations that operate to preclude or discourage the reporting of suspected criminal abuse of children to State authorities; and
    3. whether changes to law or to practices, policies and protocols in such organisations are required to help prevent criminal abuse of children by personnel in such organisations and to deal with allegations of such abuse.
    In undertaking the inquiry, the Committee should be mindful of not encroaching upon the responsibilities of investigatory agencies or the courts in relation to particular cases or prejudicing the conduct or outcome of investigations or court proceedings.
    The Committee is requested to report to the Parliament no later than 30 April 2013.
    Over the past year, the Government of Victoria, and the Attorney-General of Victoria, have received numerous letters, and life stories, in relation to systemic child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A number of cases are currently being investigated, or processed, by Victoria Police. Many of the letter writers also requested that the Victorian Government formally investigate the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society over its child abuse handling policies and practices, particularly with reference to the covering up of child abuse and the ongoing failure to comply with mandatory child protection laws.
    In a press release announcing such the “Handling of Child Abuse” inquiry, Premier Ted Baillieu and Attorney-General Robert Clarke, extended their
    “appreciation to the many individuals and organisations who have contacted the Government and provided accounts of their experiences.”
    State Press Release – Inquiry into handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations
    In the same press release, the Premier and Attorney-General stated that:
    “the Government also welcomes recent commitments by senior church figures to co-operate with an inquiry.”
    JW News is unaware of any commitment made by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses or by the Watch Tower Society to co-operate with the inquiry.
    The Catholic Church, which is regularly criticized by the church leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses in relation to its handling of child abuse, have set up a dedicated web site specifically dealing with the inquiry.
    Documents relating to the Catholic Church can also be found on the JW Leaks web site www.jwleaks.org
    Steven Unthank can be contact via email: StevenUnthank@email.com
    JW NEWS
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    “Anonymous” Message to Watchtower

    July 14, 2012

    “Anonymous” Message to Watchtower

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    www.jwnews.org 
    Short link to this JW News article for republishing (Facebook link at bottom of post): http://bit.ly/jwnews756
    Saturday July 14, 2012
    by Steven Unthank
    The internet-based hacking group “Anonymous” has upped the ante on its crusade for child protection by launching a campaign against the Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    In a video message posted online today, Anonymous publicly called on
    “the 99% to infiltrate this group and uncover any data pertaining to these cultish pedophilia crimes and expose this cult for who and what it is. Anonymous must get this pedophile list.”
    Anonymous also declared that they will “free the silent lambs”, which is a reference to the many thousands of silenced sexually abused children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Public awareness is currently focused on Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society, after recently being found guilty of “malice” in relation to the rape and sexual abuse of Ms Candace Conti, who as a child was repeatedly raped by an ordained minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The church was ordered to pay more than $20 million in punitive damages after a jury found they could have prevented the child rapes but took no action.
    Anonymous has also published the address of the Jehovah’s Witnesses secret pedophile database, which is reported to have over 23,000 files which identify mainly ordained ministers of Jehovah’s Witnesses who are currently serving in church congregations.
    Many documents, child abuse memos, court records, and information relating to the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society have also recently been released on the internet by JW Leaks.
    According to Wikipedia: ”Anonymous seeks mass awareness and revolution against corrupt entities, while attempting to maintain anonymity.”
    Wikipedia has also published a timeline of events associated with the activities of Anonymous, which highlight the ability of this decentralized group to infiltrate organizations and governments for the purpose of crippling their activities, or for accessing databases and email records.

    The online video message from Anonymous regarding Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society said…
    Hello Citizens of the world. We are Anonymous.
    Dear brothers and sisters,
    Now is the time to open your eyes and expose the truth!
    Operation Pedo Chat has commenced with a great deal of success and enthusiasm to protect the innocent from these disgusting pedophiles that roam the internet. While this war on internet Pedophilia has only just begun, more cries for help has gained the attention of Anonymous.
    A cult under the umbrella of Jehovah’s Witnesses has 23,000 plus pedophiles names and their offenses on this list within Watchtower Head quarters which is not available to the public. The Watchtower headquarters is located at 100 Watchtower Drive, Patterson, New York, 12563. Jehovah’s Witnesses official website is www.watchtower.org
    When a Jehovah’s Witness is faced with being victim to a pedophile, the accusing parents and the child are told to go to the elders first, not the police, and then let the elders make the decision. When they bring their child to the elders to explain, the elders hear the story and then bring in the pedophile. If the pedophile denies the charges, they leave it up to “Jehovah” to bring it out and go no further, unless there are witnesses.
    Anonymous calls on the 99% to infiltrate this group and uncover any data pertaining to these cultish pedophilia crimes and expose this cult for who and what it is. Anonymous must get this pedophile list and submit it to the following:
    The Pirate Bay, Wikileaks, and www.silentlambs.org
    Anonymous will expose the vile pedophiles and free the silent lambs.
    We are anonymous.
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    We do not forget.
    Expect us.
    CLICK TO VIEW THE MESSAGE FROM ANONYMOUS TO WATCHTOWER

    JW NEWS
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses and Child Protection

    May 27, 2012

    Our Families: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Child Protection

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    www.jwnews.org 
    Sunday May 27, 2012
    by Steven Unthank
    A personal message from Steven Unthank
    Thank you to all those who offered support and encouragement as I went about criminally prosecuting the entire religious and corporate hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia, from July 26, 2011 to February 21, 2012, for breaching child protection laws.
    In July 2008, I wrote a letter to Victoria Police and another to the Attorney-General of Victoria, on behalf of my family and with reference to the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses, requesting that the Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses be charged with criminal offences, over their failure to comply with the Working with Children Act 2005, as it applies to “religious organisations” and ministers of religion (primarily elders). In my letter I also wrote that in the event that compliance with the Act is made then I “withdraw this letter.” From the outset my intention was, and has always been, about compliance with these mandatory child protection laws. – Romans 13:1-5
    Over the next 3 years, from July 2008 to July 2011, neither the Attorney-General of Victoria, nor the Chief Commissioner of Police or Victoria Police, nor the Child Safety Commissioner, nor the Department of Justice, nor anyone else within the State Government of Victoria, took the necessary action that forced the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to comply with these child protection laws, even though non-compliance is a serious criminal offence punishable by imprisonment. Further, none of these public officials or public bodies took any action to legally enforce compliance with these laws.
    On July 26, 2011, after having exhausted all avenues available to protect the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I took action and personally filed criminal charges against the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Following this I commenced, on my own and without any legal assistance whatsoever, the private criminal prosecution of each of the five accused. In doing this I became the Acting Prosecutor, even though I had no funds, no legal experience whatsoever, and not even a single law book. I had to do everything myself, even the wording of the actual ‘charges’ and the designing and making up of the charge sheets. Then, for the next eight months, I had to stumble and trip through five court hearings, each involving five separate cases at every hearing.
    My objective was, not to claim victory in any courtroom battle, but, to force the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to comply with mandatory child protection laws for the protection of the children. I succeeded, when the Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses finally agreed to comply with these child protection laws, after having failed to get any of the cases thrown out of court despite effort. On February 21, 2012, the State took over all five cases and “discontinued” them claiming that it was not in the “public interest” to prosecute a religion which violates child protection laws. Regardless of the State’s action, the end result is that the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the children within the community are now safer, sexually and physically.
    I stood up to protect these children. For doing this I am now hated and despised by the entire worldwide religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. And as for the parents of the children whom I stood up to protect, these parents have been instructed by the religious leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses to teach their children that I am “mentally diseased” and that if they go near me they will catch this disease and they will die! I hope that one day these parents learn the truth about my efforts to protect their own children, and that these children also learn the truth that I stood up for them when their parents did not. It does not matter if they never find out. To stand up was the right thing to do. – James 4:17
    Steven Unthank

    Silentlambs

    On April 27, 2012, I received the Silentlambs “Courage” award for
    “courage above and beyond the call of duty in the interests of protecting children.”
    Along with the award I received a personal letter from Mr William H. Bowen, National Director for Silentlambs, USA, thanking me for my efforts in trying to protect children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I thank both Mr Bowen and Silentlambs for the award.
    Upon receiving this award I was reminded of one of Aesop’s fables, and how it related to myself growing up as a child within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially in the way I was treated by my elders:
    “The Wolf and the Lamb” by Aesop (620-564 BCE)
    Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. “There’s my supper,” thought he, “if only I can find some excuse to seize it.” Then he called out to the Lamb, “How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?”
    “Nay, master, nay,” said Lambikin; “if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me.”
    “Well, then,” said the Wolf, “why did you call me bad names this time last year?”
    “That cannot be,” said the Lamb; “I am only six months old.”
    “I don’t care,” snarled the Wolf; “if it was not you it was your father;” and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and
    Warra warra warra warra warra
    ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out
    “Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”
    - compare Ezekiel chapter 34 written at the exact same time. See direct link below:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/eze/chapter_034.htm
    Why do people have to fight for child protection within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    JW NEWS
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses and the use of the word “apostate”

    May 14, 2012

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and the use of the word “apostate”

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    Monday May 14, 2012
    by Steven Unthank
    USE OF THE WORD “APOSTATE” AS A PEJORATIVE
    Did any of the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures, such as the Apostle Paul, use the word “apostate” in a pejorative way to describe former members of the original Christian congregation, thereby setting a precedent for Jehovah’s Witnesses today?
    No!
    This is emphasized by the fact that the word “apostate” does not appear anywhere within the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, the official version of the New Testament, as used by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and published by the Watch Tower Society. That is why the official Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible encyclopedia, Insight from the Scriptures, also published by the Watch Tower Society, has no formal entry for the word “apostate”.
    According to the “Word Index” of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures – Reference Bible, the official study Bible of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the word “apostate” – translated from the Hebrew word “chaneph” (hypocrite or wicked, i.e. ungodly) by the New World Bible Translation Committee – was last used within the Holy Bible by the prophet Isaiah, who, in the context of his writings, specifically applied the word and meaning to the ancient nation of Israel. The Jehovah’s Witnesses reference volume, All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial, states that the writing of the Bible book of Isaiah was completed sometime “after 732 B.C.E.”, over 2700 years ago.
    The English word “apostate” was invented in the mid-14th century and used for non-religious situations.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/apostate
    It is also worth noting that the word “apostate” does not even appear within the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
    Despite the above, the Watchtower magazine of July 1, 1994, states that
    “apostates publish literature that resorts to distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehood.”
    What does the evidence really prove? Does the word “apostate” appear anywhere in the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures as used by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or is this article resorting to “distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehood” thereby labelling it as ‘apostate’?
    Consider the following:
    The July 15, 2011, issue of the Watchtower magazine, while quoting and referring to the writings of the Apostle Paul, emphatically states that
    “apostates are ‘mentally diseased,’ and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. Jehovah, the Great Physician, tells us to avoid contact with them.”
    The Simplified English Edition of the same Watchtower magazine claims that
    “the Bible says that apostates are mentally diseased, and that they use their teachings to make others think like them.”
    Yet nowhere in the Christian Greek Scriptures does the word “apostate” even appear.
    In making the claim that “the Bible says that apostates are mentally diseased”, and giving the impression that such words are actually from God, is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses the ones really resorting to “distortions, half-truths, and outright falsehoods” – while giving the impression that they are actually quoting from the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures?
    Rather than give an answer, perhaps we should actually refer to the authority of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, the Bible produced and recommended by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    If you can actually find the word “apostate” mentioned in the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, then us know.

    JW NEWS
    To post a Comment see the link below.
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    “Steven Unthank is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”

    May 5, 2012

    “Steven Unthank is no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses”

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    Saturday May 5, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    by Steven Unthank
    Since the 1890’s, the Watch Tower Society has recommended that, a person who leaves or changes their religion, send a Letter of Withdrawal to all members of the local church group in which they belonged to, or were associated with. Their reasoning behind this was published in The Watchtower magazine (October 15, 1895, page 234) as follows:
    “LETTERS OF WITHDRAWAL FROM [RELIGION]”
    “Frequently those who leave [their religion] get no opportunity to communicate to their Church brethren the cause of their withdrawal; because the officers of many churches in their zeal for the prosperity of their denomination (we regret to say it) seem to forget that honesty is an important element of Christian character, and either smother the matter of the withdrawal and permit the impression that the brother or sister who has withdrawn is still a member, but no longer faithful to his church engagements, or else hasten to spread a false report of his belief (as much by insinuation, tone of voice and manner, as by words) in order to forever break his or her influence. To thus bear false witness against God’s faithful children is mistakenly considered a service to God,–it is really against the Lord’s cause and for the upholding of sectarianism, lest the influence should open the eyes of others of the Lord’s sheep and they too escape from the bondage of human traditions, into the light of liberty of the truth.
    “To meet such emergencies we have prepared, for those who may desire them, Letters of Withdrawal, which express about what would be your sentiments and merely require the signature of the user and the date. These might be sent by mail, to each member of the church from which you withdraw, as well as to the minister; for you joined the church membership and not merely the minister.”

    Several years later The Watchtower magazine (February 15, 1900, page 50) added that an additional benefit of sending such a Letter of Withdrawal is so that it will…
    “…insure that you will not be misunderstood and misrepresented unintentionally. Otherwise your withdrawal is almost certain to be misrepresented as [“Apostasy”]–as leaving the true Church and not merely leaving a human organization never recognized by the Lord nor instituted by him, but by fallible men.”
    Is it really necessary to belong to a formal religious organization, such as the Watch Tower Society or even the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as a means to gain salvation or God’s approval?
    On the need to join a religious organization or even a church, the 1939 Jehovah’s Witnesses study book Salvation, published by the Watch Tower Society, states on pages 33 to 36 that:
    “Religious organizations, and particularly the leaders therein, induce persons to believe that they must join some religious system or organization, which men call “a church”; and the leaders or clergymen claim that joining such religious organization is the means to salvation. Such claim or representation by the clergy is entirely wrong, because such organizations do not have God’s approval. On the contrary, such religious organizations teach chiefly the doctrines of men, which doctrines blind the people to the truth of God’s purpose as set forth in His Word, and such teachings of men make the commandments of God of none effect and hence are exceedingly harmful to men.
    “…To follow the teachings or traditions of men, therefore, leads unto destruction. The man who ignores God’s Word and follows the way of man is designated as a fool by the Word of God.
    “…“Religion” is therefore properly defined as a belief in and indulging in a form of worship of some higher power, and which belief is based on the teachings of men handed down by tradition from one generation to another, and which system of belief or teaching is induced and put forward by God’s adversary the Devil in order to turn men away from God. For this reason religion is the snare of the Devil … To follow the lead of religion means everlasting death. To follow Christ Jesus means everlasting life. (John 17:3) … To live, one must avoid religion and truly follow the lead of Christ Jesus.”

    My personal Letter of Withdrawal

    On December 12, 2009, I acted in harmony with my personal beliefs and my conscience,and wrote a hand written Letter of Withdrawal, posting it to the religious organization known as the Watch Tower Society. This I did for the purpose of having my name struck of any “books on earth” administered by the Watch Tower Society.
    My personal reason for my withdrawal was twofold:
    1.       I found myself forced to worship, or practice my faith or belief, in a way that they I found unacceptable, morally, spiritually and emotionally. I also found that, the teachings, practices, dispute resolution processes, and the conduct of the leaders of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses was in stark contrast to the information that I was provided as a child, when I made my decision to baptised; and
    2.       in relation to the active covering up of child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the wide spread criminal activities being perpetrated against members of the Victorian community, by the Body of Elders in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and by the Faithful and Discreet Slave, and by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, and by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
    In relation to reason number 2, I had expressed a view that mandatory child protection laws (Working with Children laws) – as they apply within the State of Victoria for “religious organisations” and “ministers of religion” – must be complied with, and that non-compliance is, not only a criminal offence against the community and the children, but also an act of lawlessness against the teachings and commands of the Bible. (Romans 13:1-5) The Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses maintained a different view. They instructed the members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including elders, that these child protection laws do not have to be complied with. For over three years they refused to comply until I personally had them criminally charged and prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Then, and only then, did they start complying with the law. But that’s another story.
    With my life experience and these two reasons in mind, in good conscience I could not be associated with any organisation, religious or otherwise, that particularly engaged in criminal activities, especially when the victims were innocent children. Therefore, I lawfully resigned. Prior to taking this action I did indeed beg for help and advice, from the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and from the Watch Tower Society, over my concerns, but I was completely ignored and received absolutely no reply to my letters requesting personal and spiritual guidance.
    I painfully learnt from my personal life experience that “the members of such organization commit many deeds of cruelty and wickedness”, and that these elders have no regret or remorse over doing such. For example, one act of vicious cruelty and outright wickedness committed against me by a group of elders – including the elder that many years ago sexually assaulted me and raped my younger brother – resulted in my attempt at suicide a few years back. If I could change one thing about the direct events surrounding my suicide attempt, that would be the getting back of my suicide note which I wrote to be found with my body. My understanding is that the Watch Tower Society is in possession of it, after a circuit overseer ‘forced’ my father to hand the letter over. As part of my healing, in February last year, I wrote about my life experience (“Walk of Life”) and then published it on my personal web site www.stevenunthank.com on the page… “Life”.
    Immediately after my suicide attempt, my father, who is currently serving the needs of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Papua New Guinea, wrote to the Watch Tower Society and to Bethel (Australian headquarters for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses) begging them for help. A number of years have passed since his original plea for help. He is still yet to receive a reply.
    By comparison, when I wrote my Letter of Withdrawal in December 2009, and posted it the following week to the Watch Tower Society, the public announcement that I was no longer one of Jehovah’s Witnesses was made within a few days.
    Click on the below Letter of Withdrawal to enlarge.
    For myself, in breaking free from the control of the Watch Tower Society, I did not lose my religion, I found my spiritual freedom and true salvation. I also got my life back. Now I stand up for those who do not have a voice within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses…the children.
    Steven Unthank
    JW NEWS
    Short link to this article: www.bit.ly/jwletter
    To post a Comment see the link below.
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religions to be investigated by the State over Child Abuse

    April 18, 2012

    Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religions to be investigated by the State over Child Abuse

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    Direct link for redirecting to this JW News article: www.bit.ly/religious-investigation
    Wednesday April 18, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    “We regard child abuse as abhorrent and we will endeavour to do whatever we can to prevent it from happening and indeed bring those who are perpetrators of child abuse to justice.”
    - Premier Baillieu. Tuesday, 17 April, 2012.
    On January, 31, 2011, Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, launched the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry to comprehensively investigate systemic problems in Victoria’s child protection system, and make recommendations to strengthen and improve, the protection and support of vulnerable young Victorians.
    On June 8, 2011, Steven Unthank gave a public verbal submission to the Inquiry, in addition to a substantial written submission of which was not publicly released. Unthank’s submission was against the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society, over the criminal abuse of children within the church setting. His verbal submission primarily discussed the failure of the religion to comply with the Working with Children laws.
    For further information on the Working with Children laws visit: KidsVictoria.org
    In addition to Unthank’s testimony, a 68 page Senate submission, entitled “Allegations of Criminal Activities Committed by the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society against Australian Citizens”, dated October 1, 2011, was also made available.
    On February 21, 2012, the Child Protection Inquiry handed its report (Cummins Report) to the State Government. Section 14.5 of the report deals with, not only Steven Unthank’s testimony and submission, but also the submissions of a number of others, against various religious organisations.
    Recommendation 48 of the report (Section 14.5) stated that
    “a formal investigation should be conducted into the processes by which religious organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations. Such an investigation should possess the powers to compel the elicitation of witness evidence and of documentary and electronic evidence.”
    .
    Parliament of Victoria
    Yesterday, April 17, 2012, the Victorian Government announced the establishment of a Parliamentary inquiry into matters relating to the handling of alleged criminal abuse of children by religious organisations.
    The inquiry will have broad terms of reference to consider the practices, policies and protocols of religious organisations for the handling of allegations of criminal abuse of children by personnel within their organisations.
    The inquiry will also have the power to assess any measures put in place to respond to alleged abuse and to make any necessary recommendations for changes to the law or to relevant policies and practices.
    A focus of the inquiry will be on identifying reforms that can and should be put in place to better protect children and ensure that instances of abuse are responded to properly and effectively. In doing so, the inquiry will have the power to consider evidence of past policies, practices and abuse.
    The Government established the inquiry “after giving careful consideration to the report and recommendations of the Cummins Inquiry and to the material put before it by many individuals and groups.” Two submissions were made to the Cummins Inquiry by Steven Unthank, one of which was made on behalf of ALL the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria.
    During the Cummins Inquiry, while commenting on the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society’s refusal to comply with child protection laws, the Honourable Philip Cummins declared
    “Every individual and every organisation, religious or otherwise, has to comply with the law.”
    A submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry is currently being prepared by Steven Unthank in relation to the handling, and cover up by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, of a number of child rapes committed within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The terms of reference for the new inquiry also allows for the investigation into how the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watch Tower Society, handled complaints within the church format against elders and ministers of religion who had failed to comply with the Working with Children laws. This failure to comply with mandatory child protection laws by Jehovah’s Witness elders and ministers of religion, resulted in the criminal prosecution of entire worldwide religious and corporate hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses on July 26, 2011.
    On this subject, JW NEWS has obtained a copy of a recent letter issued to Mr William Hahn, and signed by the Attorney-General Robert Clark, which provides further evidence that Jehovah’s Witness ministers of religion have only recently commenced complying with the Working with Children Act 2005, after they became mandatory for “religious organisations” and ministers of religion back in July 2008. The Attorney-General wrote:
    “The Department of Justice has met with representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia to discuss requirements of the WWC Act. I understand that following that meeting, there has been a shift of position by the Watchtower Society, and a large number have now applied for and received a WWC Check card.”
    Click below for copy of letter from Attorney-General Robert Clark.

    The Inquiry into Religious Organisations and Child Abuse

    The inquiry into religious organisations and their handling of child abuse will be conducted by the bipartisan Family and Community Development Committee of Parliament,  which was established under the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003. It will have powers to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence and to summons documents necessary for its deliberations.
    All evidence and proceedings will be subject to Parliamentary privilege, and the inquiry will be able to take evidence in private hearings where it considers it appropriate in the interests of victims or for other reasons.
    The Government has concluded that a Parliamentary inquiry is the most appropriate form for the inquiry to take. A Parliamentary inquiry will be able to proceed in a less formal and legalistic manner than a Royal Commission, and with no expectation that persons giving evidence will be required to have legal representation.

    “We regard child abuse as abhorrent and we will endeavour to do whatever we can to prevent it from happening and indeed bring those who are perpetrators of child abuse to justice.” – Premier Baillieu
    The terms of reference for the inquiry were approved by the Governor in Council on Tuesday morning, April 17, 2012.
    TERMS OF REFERENCE
    The Family and Community Development Committee is requested to inquire into, consider and report to the Parliament on the processes by which religious and other non-government organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by personnel within their organisations, including:
    1. the practices, policies and protocols in such organisations for the handling of allegations of criminal abuse of children, including measures put in place by various organisations in response to concerns about such abuse within the organisation or the potential for such abuse to occur;
    2. whether there are systemic practices in such organisations that operate to preclude or discourage the reporting of suspected criminal abuse of children to State authorities; and
    3. whether changes to law or to practices, policies and protocols in such organisations are required to help prevent criminal abuse of children by personnel in such organisations and to deal with allegations of such abuse.
    In undertaking the inquiry, the Committee should be mindful of not encroaching upon the responsibilities of investigatory agencies or the courts in relation to particular cases or prejudicing the conduct or outcome of investigations or court proceedings.
    The Committee is requested to report to the Parliament no later than 30 April 2013.
    Over the past year, the Government of Victoria, and the Attorney-General of Victoria, have received numerous letters, and life stories, in relation to systemic child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A number of cases are currently being investigated, or processed, by Victoria Police. Many of the letter writers also requested that the Victorian Government formally investigate the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower society over its child abuse handling policies and practices, particularly with reference to the covering up of child abuse and the ongoing failure to comply with mandatory child protection laws.
    In a press release announcing such an Inquiry, Premier Ted Baillieu and Attorney-General Robert Clarke, extended their
    “appreciation to the many individuals and organisations who have contacted the Government and provided accounts of their experiences.”
    In the same press release, the Premier and Attorney-General stated that:
    “the Government also welcomes recent commitments by senior church figures to co-operate with an inquiry.”
    There was no commitment made by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses or by the Watch Tower Society to co-operate with the inquiry.
    JW NEWS

    Anyone needing help or assistance in preparing for, or making a submission, to the State of Victoria over child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, is encouraged to contact Steven Unthank for further information.

    stevenunthank @email.com

    .
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    Watch Tower Society v. Jehovah’s Witnesses

    April 8, 2012
    Forward: The following extended article has been published for the purpose of inviting fair and critical public debate and discussion, on the relationship between the Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses within Australia. As such, for the purpose of debate or discussion, this article may be reproduced, in part or in whole, on any public forum.
    Suggestions and feedback are most welcome for the purpose of clarifying, correcting, or editing the following article.
    email: jwnews @mail.com
    Last Updated: 18:12, April 11, 2012 (AEDT)
    Short link to this article: www.bit.ly/wts-v-jw

    Watch Tower Society v. Jehovah’s Witnesses

    JW NEWS
    Feature Article
    www.jwnews.net
    Sunday 8, April 2012
    by Steven Unthank
    The formal title, “faithful and discreet slave”, is used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to describe and refer to the ecclesiastical body that exercises absolute authority over the religion. – For further information click HERE.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are known to often ask the question “who really is the faithful and discreet slave”? On October 11, 2011, legal counsel for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, while presenting defense arguments in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, answered this question by stating that the “faithful and discreet slave” were nothing more that a
    “theological arrangement.”
    This now begs the question “who really are Jehovah’s Witnesses” and are they also a “theological arrangement”?
    Lay members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses (called a ‘publisher’) are recognised worldwide for the public preaching and evangelizing activity they carry out within their local communities.
    Last Sunday JW NEWS published a transcript of a letter which was read out in all congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria, Australia, in October / November last year. This official church letter explained that this public ministry activity is
    “part of a publisher’s personal ministry and the publisher is not a representative or a volunteer of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.”
    The above letter was in response to the failure of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Watch Tower Society, to comply with mandatory child protection laws, as legislated in the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005.
    In the issuing of this letter, it appears that the Watch Tower Society was attempting to distance itself from the activities of members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why? Many individual Jehovah’s Witnesses may have actually criminally breached and broken the law, over the past 3 1/2 years, by their failing to undergo a mandatory child safety police check before engaging in child-related activities as part of their religious vocation, including the public ministry.
    Organisational compliance with the law, by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society, only commenced after the entire religious and corporate hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses were criminally charged and prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Once the religion started to organisationally comply with mandatory child protection laws, the Acting Prosecutor formally requested that the Director of Public Prosecutions take over all 5 criminal cases. This the Director did on February 21, 2012, and thereupon “discontinued” the prosecution claiming that to continue the prosecution of the accused was not in the “public interest.”
    See the previous JW NEWS article Do the Working with Children laws apply within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    The claim that individual Jehovah’s Witnesses are not representatives of the Watchtower Society in Australia, raises a number of very important questions – when considered in the light of current teachings of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses – that literally demand an answer:
    • Who really are Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    • Are representatives and volunteers of Jehovah’s Witnesses also representatives and volunteers of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia?
    • Has the Watch Tower Society misrepresented the facts in order to deceive lay members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia; or, has the Watch Tower Society misrepresented the facts to the Australian government  in order to obtain status as a religious Charity with Income Tax Exemption?
    • Who is liable for the religious activities of ministers within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when they engage in the preaching and evangelizing work?
    In the book Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will (page 26), the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wrote that the legal corporations they have set up, which includes the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, are
    “used to facilitate the preaching of the good news worldwide and to care for the spiritual needs of the entire congregation of God in all parts of the earth.”
    The previously cited official church letter, as publicly read out to all congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria, gives the impression that “an individual” can do the “witnessing work,” on their own as part of their “own personal ministry”, without the need to be a volunteer or representative of an organization.
    In explaining that the preaching work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not just their own personal ministry, The Watchtower magazine, June 1, 1986 on page 25 says
    “The apostles and older men located in Jerusalem constituted a governing body that made decisions giving unified direction to the early Christian congregations. (Acts 15:1-31; 16:1-5) Today Jehovah’s anointed witnesses, “the faithful and discreet slave,” have a Governing Body at their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. (Matthew 24:45-47) It directs the tremendous worldwide Kingdom witnessing work now being done throughout the earth in fulfillment of the order to announce Jehovah’s Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14) This work could never be done without an organization. An individual could never do it on his own.”
    Are Jehovah’s Witnesses really alone in preaching the Bible’s message to people in their own homes?
    The Watch Tower published book Revelation It’s Grand Climax At Hand! (page 205) claims that
    “…often angelic guidance has been apparent in bringing one of Jehovah’s Witnesses to a home.”
    This teaching is reiterated in the currently used Jehovah’s Witnesses textbook Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education (page 272) which also claims that
    “…a vital proclamation under angelic direction would be made ‘to every nation.’ … It is God’s will that this message be delivered. We have the privilege of sharing in that work.”
    The Watchtower magazine, December 1, 1965 on page 710 says of angels
    “Although remaining invisible, the angels are very active in this separating work, noting the righteously inclined hearts of sheeplike persons and, as they did in the first century, directing God’s earthly ministers to them.”
    Clearly then, members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that angels are engaged by both God and Jesus as part of the preaching activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It can hardly be claimed that angels engage in “their own personal ministry”.
    According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, each minister of religion, or ‘publisher’, is under divine command to preach. The version of the Holy Bible, as published by the Watch Tower Society, records the Apostle Paul as saying
    “I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus … preach the word … do the work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (compare Matthew 28:19,20)
    The Watchtower magazine of January 1, 2004, (page 11) clearly states that a
    “Christian has to share in the preaching work because it is inseparably linked to faith.”
    Why is it so important to ascertain who has engaged each minister of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to go out into the community preaching from door-to-door?
    The Victorian Working with Children Act 2005 states that a “minister of religion” that comes into contact with a child under the age of 18, as part of their religious vocation, must “have their suitability checked by a government body.” – section 1(1) and 9(1)
    Compliance with this law creates both obligation and liability for a “religious organisation”.
    The preaching work of every single adult minister of religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria, Australia, brings them into regular contact with children in the community.
    For a discussion on this subject see the JW NEWS article Do the Working with Children laws apply within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses? and the subheading Do Jehovah’s Witness ministers of religion really preach to children within the community and are they instructed to do so?
    Section 35 of the Working with Children Act 2005 states that it is an
    “Offence to engage in child-related work a person who does not have an assessment notice.”
    On July 26, 2011, a total of 35 criminal charges were filed, in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, against the following accused – as forming part of the combined “Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses” in the State of Victoria, Australia:
    • Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    • Faithful and Discreet Slave
    • Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    • Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia
    • Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
    For further information and for copies of court documents, download the following pdf documents:
    Criminal Prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Volume 3
    Criminal Prosecution of the Faithful and Discreet Slave – Volume 3
    Each criminal charge was for “engaging” a minister of religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses “in child-related work …knowing that it is child-related work, and knowing that he does not have a current Assessment Notice as required under the Working with Children Act 2005.”
    All 35 charges were brought under Section 35 of the Working with Children Act 2005.
    In the Jehovah’s Witnesses study book, Keep Yourselves In God’s Love (2008) – as published by the Watch Tower Society and personally signed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – it says on page 44
    “RESPECT FOR SECULAR AUTHORITY
    “True Christian conscientiously adhere to the principles stated at Romans 13:1-7. As you read over that passage, you can see that “the superior authorities” mentioned there are the secular governments. As long as Jehovah allows these human powers to exist, they perform important functions, maintaining a measure or order and providing needed services. We show our respect for these authorities by means of our law-abiding conduct. We are careful to pay whatever taxes we owe, to fill out properly any forms or documents that the government may require, and to comply with any laws that involve us.
    One of these forms that the government requires members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses “to fill out properly”, so as to comply with the law, is the Working with Children Check Application Guide and Form.
    The “Working with Children Check Application Guide and Form”  requires those who apply for an Assessment Notice, which allows them to work with children, fill out the details of the “Primary Organisation” they work or volunteer for.
    Click on below image to enlarge facsimile copy of “Section E: Details of Organisation/s”

    To download an entire pdf sample of the Working with Children Check Application Guide and Form go to
    Currently, the ”Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses” is instructing ministers (‘publishers’) of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses that they are not
    “a representative or a volunteer of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia”
    and must not include this on their forms.
    Is the above statement true?

    Are representatives and volunteers of Jehovah’s Witnesses also representatives and volunteers of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia?

    This would all depend in Australia, on whether Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, were one-and-the-same, that is, that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia was actually Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Under Australian law, Corporation Act 2001, every corporation or business entity operating in Australia as a “public company” must be registered. Upon registration they are issued with an Australian Company Number (ACN). Tax concessions are available for religious organisations (institutions and charities) registered as a company upon meeting strict criteria. Part of that criteria includes being the holder an Australian Business Number (ABN).
    Click here to download a pdf extract copy of the current legal status for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia
    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, after applying to the Australian Tax Office for an ABN, was granted one on April 7, 2000.
    ABN: 42 002 861 225
    A check on the official Australian government business registrar for ABN holders reveals that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia operates and trades in Australia under the trading name
    “Jehovah’s Witnesses”
    thereby establishing by law that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia and Jehovah’s Witnesses are one and the same.
    See below screen shot from the Australian government business registration web site.

    Click on below image to enlarge screen shot which contains the official Australian government “Historical Details” for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.

    http://www.abr.business.gov.au/SearchByAbn.aspx?abn=42002861225
    On February 5, 2001, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia presented a written submission to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) entitled Submission to Inquiry into the Definition of Charities and Related Organisations. In this submission, the Watchtower Society argued on page 6 that
    “The person or organization who provides that guidance out of a sense of Christian love is no less a sharer in the chain of charitable actions than the one who freely gives.”
    Click here to download a pdf copy of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia’s submission to the “Inquiry into the Definition of Charities and Related Organisations
    The above statement was in relation to monetary donations received by an individual ‘publisher’ within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses while engaged the public ministry. The submission claimed that such ministry justifies the basis of charity work, of which work qualifies the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia to hold and maintain an Income Tax Exemption – of which exemption was issued by the Australian government some 7 months earlier.
    Yet despite the above, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the Watch Tower Society, and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, have all denied organisational liability, as to the preaching activities of individual ministers within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, by claiming that such ministry is their own “personal ministry”.
    This now seriously brings into question the qualification of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia to be the holder of an Income Tax Exemption, especially as such an exemption was granted primarily on the basis of what turned out to actually be the “personal ministry” of private members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and not the religious organisation.
    Based on the above conclusion, the Australian Senate and the Australia government, have received a number of formal complaints in relation to the Income Tax Exemption status of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.
    The taxation and business status of the Watchtower Bible and Tract of Australia will be reviewed on July 29, 2012, by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
    JW NEWS has been provided access to an extensive complaint and submission, currently being prepared for the purpose of investigating the ‘charity’ and not-for-profit status of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia. This submission is for lodgement with the newly formed “Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission”, which commences jurisdictional investigative activities on October 1, 2012. This submission was prepared following the advice and recommendation of an Australian Senator, who has also asked to be kept up to date on the progress of the submission.
    The Charities Commission submission addresses key points in the Australian Tax Law Amendment (Public Benefit Test) Bill 2010, and their application to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.
    One key part of the submission is in relation to the monetary donations that are accepted from the public, by members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses while they engage in their own “personal ministry”. If an evangelizing ‘publisher’ of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses is not recognised as a volunteer of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, then does the Society have the authority to claim the public donations that are received by the ‘publisher’?
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses newsletter Our Kingdom Ministry, January 2006, provides the following advice on how to solicit public donations through the evangelizing and preaching work carried out by individual members of the religion
    Ways to Mention the Donation Arrangement
    “If you would like to make a small donation today toward our worldwide work, I will gladly accept it.”
    “Although our literature is offered without charge, we do accept modest donations for our worldwide work.”
    “You may wonder how we can afford to do this work. It is because our worldwide work is supported by voluntary donations. If you wish to make a small donation today, I will be pleased to accept it.”
    The above advice on how to solicit public donations makes very strong use of the words “our” and “we” in the suggested solicitations, especially considering that ‘publishers’ of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are engaged in their own “personal ministry”. Unclarity surrounds who the “our” and “we” actually represent.
    Another part of the Charities Commission submission deals with a request for a ruling on “whether ‘publishers’ and evangelists within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are representatives or volunteers of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, considering that there is no registered or legal corporation or association known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
    It is the understanding of JW NEWS that the Charities Commission complaint and submission will be closely linked to a similar submission to the Australian Tax Office, for a review on whether the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia still qualifies as a “religious institution” and for Income Tax Exemption. This is in relation in relation to the following Income Tax Exemption criteria, namely that
    “An institution will be a religious institution if:
    • its objects and activities reflect its character as a body instituted for the promotion of some religious object, and
    • the beliefs and practices of the members constitute a religion.”
    Do the “beliefs and practices” of the members of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia “constitute a religion”?
    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia have maintained “religious institution” classification by reason that they have informed the Tax Office that they trade as, and are known as “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, who promote their religious objective, beliefs and practices via the public ministry of ‘publishers’. This must be done by the Society as they in fact are not a religion, and as such cannot have religious “beliefs and practices” even though the individual corporate members may hold a personal religious conviction.
    If Jehovah’s Witness ‘publishers’ are not volunteers or representatives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, then the Society cannot claim its “religious institution” status as it has no members engaging in public preaching. The preaching and evangelizing work is confined to the “personal ministry” of members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Who determines whether the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia maintains its compliance within the legal taxation parameters for non-profit organisations? The Australian Tax Office allows a “religious institution” the ability to annually self-assess itself for compliance once it is granted Tax Exemption Status.
    For the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to maintain its Tax Exemption Status it must give the impression that it trades and operates under the trading name “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. This allows them to claim the “personal ministry” of the lay members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses as the public charitable ministry of the Society.
    The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia also holds “Charity” status. Questions arise as to whether this “charity” status is lawful and complies with the special requirements for a registered charity, to be Income Tax Exempt. This is especially worth investigating in that “the Society” was established for a closed group of individuals (“anointed ones”") who also comprise the “faithful and discreet slave”, and is operated, not for the public, but solely for the purpose of these individuals “commission to preach” of which commission is now considered a part of each members own “personal ministry”.
    If the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia did indeed lose their Income Tax Exemption then they would be required to pay back taxes on any profits derived from their activities. Profits can easily be calculated by comparing the amount of money that they donate each year. This is currently averaging about Au$4.75 million per year. See the blow document:
    Click here to download a pdf copy of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia “Statement of Comprehensive Income”
    The Australian Taxation Office sets the tax rate for businesses at around 30%. Going back the previous 12 years  this amounts to Au$1.4 million per year (based on the previous years averages) or a potential tax bill of around Au$15 million dollars. This does not take into account the current income surplus for the last financial year of Au$4.5 million, of which would amount to an additional tax bill of Au$1.35 million.
    For further information on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) requirements for “religious institutions” go to:
    http://www.ato.gov.au/nonprofit/content.aspx?doc=/content/34269.htm&page=10
    Note the specific reference to the “Jehovah’s Witness” religion.
    See also the “Income Tax Guide for Non-Profit Organisations”
    Australian Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission
    Official web site: Australian Charities Commission
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/acnctaskforce
    During the 2010/2011 financial year the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia spent the following on preaching (evangelizing) and teaching in Australia:
    As can be seen from the above, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia has claimed almost $3.5 million over the past two years against their Income Tax Exemption Status in relation to “evangelizing”. Yet, the evangelizing work is only carried out by unpaid volunteer members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    It is worth noting that the almost $10 million in “Donations and Overseas Aid” over the past 2 years, is primarily money tranfers to non-profit corporations under the umbrella control of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.

    Does the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia recognise members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses as being their volunteers?

    In 2009 the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia released a safety policy in relation to building and construction work carried out on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The 32 booklet, Working Together Safely, in its introduction, contains a 2 page letter which says
    And concludes with the following
    Click on the below images to enlarge.

     

    Who is liable for the religious activities of ministers of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses when they engage in the preaching and evangelizing work?

    If the “Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses” within Australia is denying liability, or that they engage ‘publishers’ to preach God’s Kingdom, then who then is liable for engaging them?
    According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ is the head of the church and the one who, along with God, engaged the individual members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to preach about God’s Kingdom by command in the Bible – as interpreted by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    In the State of Victoria, Australia, there are well over 10,000 active adult ‘publishers’ and ministers of religion engaged in going out into the community preaching to, not only men and women, but also to children.
    Between July 2008, when the working with children laws became compulsory for “religious organisations” in the State of Victoria, Australia, up to July 2011, when the entire religious and corporate hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses was criminally charged with offences under the Working with Children Act 2005, only 70 individual Jehovah’s Witnesses, out of these 10,000 plus  recognised ministers of religion, took the personal initiative to comply with the law.
    By not accepting responsibility in relation to non-compliance with mandatory child protection laws, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the Watch Tower Society, and the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses have appeared to put the blame onto Jesus Christ and Jehovah God.
    This is emphasized by what is written by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the book Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will (page 9)
    “Jehovah does not let his organization go in any direction that it might be inclined to go. Ezekiel 1:20 says: “Wherever the spirit inclined to go, they would go.” Thus, it is Jehovah who causes his organization to move to wherever his spirit impels it to move.”
    Therefore, according to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the holy spirit, under the personal instruction and direction of Jehovah God, must have failed to comply with mandatory child protection laws.  This would also apply to Jesus Christ who went along with such criminal lawlessness for over three years from July 2008 onwards.
    By the same measure, the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watch Tower Society, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Faithful and Discreet Slave, are also literally claiming that any elder who has been appointed or retained as an elder since July 1, 2008, in the State of Victoria, and who did not already possess a current “Assessment Notice” (a Working with Children Check) was not their responsibility but was the responsibility of the holy spirit who appointed that elder.
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses study book Keep Yourselves in God’s Love (page 43) clearly states that
    “Elders are appointed by holy spirit.”
    The same also applies to Ministerial Servants as pointed out in the Jehovah’s Witnesses text book Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will (page 58), where it clearly states that
    “ministerial servants are appointed by holy spirit.”
    When members of the religion Jehovah’s Witnesses preach in the community they claim they are ultimately representatives of God’s Kingdom and that they are sent from God. The Watchtower magazine, July 15, 1990, confirms this by claiming that
    “Jehovah’s Witnesses are sent from God, and they are doing their witnessing work under God’s view.”
    Who is ultimately responsible for the failure of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to comply with mandatory child protection for over three years, God or Man?
    This would all depend on whether individual members of the religion of Jehovah’ Witnesses are indeed sent by God; and whether elders and ministerial servants are indeed appointed by God (through Jesus Christ) by means of holy spirit.
    On the other hand, maybe Jehovah’s Witnesses are nothing more than a convenient “theological arrangement”.
    JW NEWS
    Related JW NEWS articles
    Jehovah’s Witnesses Hierarchy Charged With Criminal Offences
    Victoria’s Child Protection Inquiry Hears Evidence Against Jehovah’s Witnesses And The Watch Tower Society
    [TRANSCRIPT] Protecting Children Inquiry hears evidence about ongoing refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society to comply with mandatory child protection laws as legislated in the Working with Children Act 2005 for “religious organisations”
    Watch Tower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse assistance from Department of Justice over Child Protection Laws
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 1
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 2
    Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Circuit Overseer Visit to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses to Apologize for Sins Against the Children
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Escape Judgement for Crimes Against the Children!
    Criminal Prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, et al. – Court Results – February 21, 2012
    The Responsibility To Bear Witness
    JW NEWS
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    Do the Working with Children laws apply within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    April 1, 2012
    JW NEWS
    Feature Article

    Do the Working with Children laws apply within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    www.jwnews.net
    Direct link for redirecting to this JW News article: www.bit.ly/working-with-children
    Sunday, April 1, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    On a number of occasions over the past year, the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society have claimed that the Victorian Working with Children laws (child protection laws) DO NOT apply to Jehovah’s Witnesses nor do they apply within their religious organisation.
    The Sunday Herald Sun newspaper reported on April 10, 2011, that Steven Unthank
    …quit the religion in late 2009 after waging a long campaign to persuade the Watch Tower Society, the religion’s administrative arm, that elders and door-to-door preachers needed to get police checks before working with children.
    Victoria’s Working With Children Act requires ministers of religion who have regular unsupervised contact with children to apply for background checks and the Catholic and Anglican churches say all ministers and volunteer workers routinely apply for such checks.
    Although Jehovah’s Witnesses say all members become ordained ministers at baptism, a spokesman for the Watch Tower Society said elders or other evangelists were not required to gain a police clearance.
    “We don’t typically work with children, we don’t have Sunday schools, so that law doesn’t apply to us,” the spokesman said.
    Former Jehovah’s Witness taking on Watch Tower
    The Sunday Herald Sun newspaper ran a follow up story on July 16, 2011, about the stand the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses was taking in relation to the Working with Children laws. The newspaper article reported that
    The religion’s corporate arm in Australia, the Watch Tower Society, says it does not believe its ministers need to obtain background checks to work with children because they do not typically work unsupervised with children.
    “It’s an absolute beat-up,” a spokesman said. “We do what we have to under law.”
    Door closes on Jehovah’s Witness campaign
    On July 26, 2011, a total of 35 criminal charges were successfully filed in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria by Steven Unthank over the refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses to comply with child protection laws.
    Steven Unthank then went on to privately prosecute the entire religious and corporate hierarchy of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses on his own. Over a seven month period, from July 2011 to February 2012, Unthank managed five separate criminal cases over five separate court hearing dates for each case.
    After failing to have the criminal charges dismissed on a number of occasions, the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society, in October 2011, agreed to comply with child protection laws as legislated in the Working with Children Act 2005.
    All five cases were taken over on February 21, 2012, by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who then discontinued the prosecution claiming it was not in the “public interest”.
    The Latrobe Valley Express newspaper, February 27, 2012, while covering the discontinuing of the prosecution of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, reported that the Watchtower claimed “unclarity” in relation to the Working with Children laws. The newspaper, reported that
    the Watchtower Society had been in discussions with the Department of Public Prosecutions, but would not comment on whether it was ordered to conform with the legislation, or had voluntarily accepted it.
    The newspaper also reported that
    …an audio recording of a letter from the Watchtower Society, read to a local congregation in late 2011 and heard by The Express, it was stated door-to-door activities were part of a member’s “personal ministry”, and ‘publishers’ were not representatives or volunteers of the Watchtower Society.
    However the letter reading went on to state, “nevertheless, an individual may volunteer to apply (for WWC)”, which Mr Unthank said was the religion absolving itself of responsibility, and putting the onus on individuals.
    Watchtower Society senior elder Alan Wood, confirmed a letter had been sent out to Victorian congregations “about November” last year, informing elders of their requirement to apply for WWC.
    Private prosecution gets thrown out of court
    JW News has obtained an audio copy of the above referred to letter being read out in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses by Elder Chris Thompson.

    Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Transcript of an audio recording of the public reading of a letter, issued by the ‘Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses’, over the need to comply with child protection laws, which became compulsory for “religious organisations” and “ministers of religion” from July 2008 onward in the State of Victoria, Australia.
    LETTER READER: ELDER CHRIS THOMPSON
    LOCATION: TRARALGON KINGDOM HALL OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
    DATE: publicly read out October / November 2011 in all congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria, Australia
    [TRANSCRIPT]
    “… [Introduction missing] … children are protected from harm. We certainly share their concern for the welfare of children. In Victoria, laws have been implemented which require persons who have regular and direct contact with children to have their suitability for such activity checked by a government authority. This is known as a Working with Children Check.
    “Unlike many religious organisations, congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not sponsor any activities that separate, or isolate, children from their parents. For example, we do not organise Sunday Schools, camps, excursions, religious instructions at schools, or any other activities for children.
    “Nevertheless, an adult publisher may, as part of their own personal ministry, have regular contact with a minor, that is a person under 18 years of age who is not a family member, such as when conducting a regular Bible study. Such Bible study activity is part of a publisher’s personal ministry … I’ll read that again, again … Such Bible study activity is part of a per[p?] … publisher’s personal ministry and the publisher is not a representative of the Borg … (whistle) … Sorry, I’ll start that sentence again. Such Bible study activity is part of a publisher’s personal ministry and the publisher is not a representative or a volunteer of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.
    “Nevertheless, the individual publisher may individually be required by Victorian law to obtain a Working with Children Check. Therefore, if you think that you need to apply for a Working with Children Check, because of your spiritual activities, please speak to the coordinator of the Body of Elders who will provide you with further information.
    “It is a pleasure to be working with you in holding high Jehovah’s great name in these momentous last days. We send you our warm Christian love and greetings.
    “So brothers, the purpose of this letter is to serve as a reminder to all in the congregation of two facts; first of all, when we share in our field service we are not serving in the capacity of a volunteer or a representative of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. However, this is the second point, if we are in regular contact with a minor, someone under the age of 18, we may still be required by law to have a Working with Children Check. Therefore, if we find ourselves meeting that criteria could you please come and have a talk with myself, as per the direction in the letter there to speak to the coordinator of the Body of Elders, and I will provide you with further direction regarding that.
    “Thank you for your attention brothers, we’ll hand over to Brother Van Der Sluis who will be handling our part the ‘Question Box’.”
    [END OF LETTER READING AND PUBLIC COMMENTS]
    JW NEWS

    Do Jehovah’s Witness ministers of religion really preach to children within the community and are they instructed to do so?

    www.jwnews.net
    by Steven Unthank
    Not all young children and teenagers who are members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are born or raised in the religion, or even have parents who are members of the faith. Many children, some even as young as 11, have joined the religion on their own initiative thereby becoming child converts.
    In 2011 the Watch Tower Society formally republished the following guidelines and instructions to encourage ‘publishers’ and ministers of religion to seek out potential child converts in their personal preaching activity within local communities.
    Presenting the Good News—‘Being All Things to All People’
    What about teenagers?
    Do we take time to speak to them?
    Or do we always ask for the parents?
    Though their parents may not be interested, many youths are.
    One fourteen-year-old boy wrote to the Society requesting a visit from one of Jehovah’s witnesses. Among other things, he said:
    “After reviewing many of your publications, I would like to learn more about God’s Word. Realizing that my religion is part of Babylon the Great, I wish to get out from her.”
    What might you say when a teenager comes to the door?
    Possibly something like this:
    “Hello, my name is . . . What’s yours? I am encouraging young folks like you to read about the grand future that the Bible promises for us.”
    (Read Revelation 21:4, 5.)
    Ask what his thoughts are about this promise, and conclude with the literature offer.
    The above was a direct quote from the Our Kingdom Ministry newsletter, currently published in Australia by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.
    What though if a minor, that is a person under 18 years of age, is forbidden by their parents to associate with the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Watch Tower Society?
    In 2011, the Watch Tower Society in their resource reference, Watchtower Library 2011, published the following guidelines and instructions for ‘publishers’ and ministers or religion on how to handle such a situation
    Question:
    “If a young person is forbidden by his father (or his mother) to study the Bible or to associate with Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, is he obligated to obey in these matters?”
    Answer:
    “The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is brought into the matter shows that obedience to parents is not absolute
    “There are times when children are the only ones in a family that want to learn about God’s Word. They might come to the home of one of Jehovah’s witnesses and ask Bible questions or even attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall. If parents demand that their children cease all association with Jehovah’s witnesses, the children will have to decide what they are going to do on the basis of what they know to be right. If parents begin directly supervising every aspect of the activity of their children and cut them off from all possible association with Jehovah’s Christian witnesses, this does not prevent youths from demonstrating their desire to do God’s will by maintaining fine conduct, studying the Bible on their own and praying that the time may come when they will be freer to pursue true worship and can continue to seek the permission of their parents to share more fully in Christian activity.
    On the other hand, though denying a child’s request to attend Christian meetings or to let a minister come and study the Bible with him, perhaps the parents do not exercise any strict supervision. What is the responsibility of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses toward such a child? Jehovah’s witnesses rightly respect the wishes of parents as to what will be done in their own home. But this does not mean that Jehovah’s witnesses cannot answer Bible questions raised by youths who visit them or who meet them on the street or elsewhere. Jehovah’s witnesses have no responsibility to turn children away from their Kingdom Halls because parents may not want them to attend meetings there.”
    - w73 11/1 p. 671
    The above published instructions by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and by the Watch Tower Society clearly and concisely instruct Jehovah’s Witness ‘publishers’ and ordained ministers to circumvent parental authority by suggesting to secretly meet such children outside of the safety of their own homes where their “parents do not exercise any strict supervision.” This is done for the explicit purpose of making child converts.
    The following is the official record form currently in use by ‘publishers’ and ordained ministers within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in maintaining records on, not only men and women, but also on potential child converts in the state of Victoria. Note the Symbols listing “C – Child”.
    JW NEWS
    h1

    Criminal Prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    March 11, 2012
    JW NEWS
    Feature Article

    Criminal Prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    by Steven Unthank
    Sunday, March 11, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    The Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is legally recognized in Australia as forming part of the overall ecclesiastical and administrative authority for members and associates of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The Watchtower magazine, November 15, 1996, on page 27 states that
    “The Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international brotherhood.”
    The Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses operates in Australia as an unincorporated body unlike other countries where they have chosen to be formally incorporated or registered. For example, in the United States of America, the Christian congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is incorporated in the State of New York under section 402 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. Whereas, in Italy, they go by the formal name Congregazione Cristiana dei Testimoni di Geova, of which, according to The Watchtower magazine, translates as “Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. – see w02 1/15 p. 32
    On July 26, 2011, a total of 7 criminal charges were officially filed in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia, against the CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES in relation to ongoing breaches of the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005 as it applies to “religious organisations”.
    Each of the 7 charges carried a fine of Au$144,000 and up to 2 years imprisonment for each individual member of the committee of management for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses “who knew of, or knowingly authorised or permitted, the commission of the offence” or offences.
    All 7 charges were in relation to allegations of unlawful activities carried out against children within the Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses by the entire Body of Elders within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    A total of 5 separate legal entities were criminally charged over breaches of child protection laws as legislated in the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005. Those legal entities charged were
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses (7 charges)
    Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania (7 charges)
    Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia (7 charges)
    Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (7 charges)
    Faithful and Discreet Slave (7 charges)
    The Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses were summoned to appear in Court on September 13, 2011, to face their criminal charges. They refused to appear when summoned and failed to be represented by legal counsel. In addition they also refused to appear in Court or to be represented by legal counsel on 4 subsequent court hearings conducted in their absence over the next 5 months. On February 21, 2012, the Director of Public Prosecutions, after formally taking over the case from the current Acting Prosecutor, Mr Steven Unthank, “discontinued” the criminal case after claiming that the ongoing criminal prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, over breaches of mandatory child protection laws, was not in the “public interest”.
    The “Charge-Sheet And Summons” for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was served on Vincent Joseph Toole, legal counsel and senior elder for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and recognized officer “who is concerned or takes part in the management of” the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia.
    Documents and evidence pertaining to the criminal prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses also identified Vincent Joseph Toole as part of the committee of management and also as a “member of the committee of management of the body or association who knew of, or knowingly authorised or permitted, the commission of the offence” or offences against the Working with Children Act 2005.
    During the Magistrates’ Court hearing on October 11, 2011, the second round of hearings, a former member of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia attended the hearing and later compiled a report on the hearing. JW News was recently granted copyright ownership of this report, which, apart from discussing courtroom arguments in relation to the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”, the report also discussed brief arguments relating to the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses presented by legal counsel for the Watchtower Society and not by legal counsel for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses as they failed to appear or be represented.
    Note: the below report is published verbatim and contains only one comment by JW News in brackets [ ] in relation to court listing dates. Abbreviations have been spelled out according to the original report. Example “WTS” becomes Watchtower Society. The endnote has been added to clarify a statement made by the presiding Magistrate in relation to the criminal charging of each member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Victoria, Australia: Report for October 11, 2011, Criminal Court Hearing Involving the Prosecution of the Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    I had no plans to turn up to the court hearing as an observer, as in my experience, it can take several hearings and a number of months before any court case gets rolling. This usually involves a transfer to the County Court or the Supreme Court for a trial unless the defendant pleads “guilty.”
    Everything changed upon learning that the Watchtower Society (WTS) had instructed elders and others in the congregations to comply with the working with children laws and to actually obtain their working with children cards. Getting the Watchtower Society to comply with the laws after three years of refusing to comply was quite an achievement for Steven Unthank. With this development who would not want to sit in on the next court hearing and witness the defense tactics the Watchtower Society and their legal team launched to get themselves out of the potential crisis they got themselves into.
    And launch they did. In a short space of 90 minutes, the Watchtower Society completely destroyed the entire fabric and structure of the faith of some 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses for nothing more than self-preservation. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your view, most Jehovah’s Witnesses will never find out.
    Before compiling this report I took the opportunity to read through Steven Unthank’s web site www.jwnews.net for the purpose of clarifying a few case point overviews and I recommend this to others. For anyone interested in court numbers and proof of court hearings, the Daily Court Listings can be found on the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria web site for November 8th.
    [Note Magistrate Court listings are only published prior to the date of the hearings.]
    My opinions and observations
    The best way to comprehend what is going on, from a courtroom perspective, is that the court hearings at the moment are administrative, which in very simplistic terms means ‘the shuffling of paperwork’ and ‘the jostling for position’ along with some short case arguments or presentations to the magistrate.
    During the court hearing on October 11th, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of Public Prosecutions (referred to as the Crown) indicated to the court that they intend to take over all five cases. As to why they have not done so previously is anyone’s guess. In my opinion I would not be surprised if all five cases have been sort of co-prosecuted and case managed by the Crown and by Steven Unthank working together in a de facto relationship, with Steven Unthank acting in the capacity as acting prosecutor and the Crown as legal adviser. Such an arrangement would be advantageous to the overall prosecution of the cases for two very specific reasons:-
    1. Steven Unthank would not have a working knowledge of the criminal justice system; and
    2. the Crown would not have a working knowledge of the Watchtower Society’s corporate religious system and its relationship to Jehovah’s Witnesses and each of the defendants.
    Many of us, including myself, may have greatly underestimated Steven Unthank’s ability or understanding of the court process, the structure of the Watch Tower Society, its relationship with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what was needed to launch a criminal prosecution. It has been a long running joke about having the “faithful and discreet slave” charged. But consider this. Everything that happens within the Watchtower Society and within the Jehovah’s Witnesses is attributed to the entity and class of individuals known within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses as the “faithful and discreet slave.”
    According to the Watchtower teachings, the authority of the elder arrangement, their governing body, the branch committees, and also the authority of the lawyers within the congregation and organization, comes from the “faithful and discreet slave.” If these elders, governing body members, branch committee members, and lawyers made a mistake over the Working with Children laws then the fault may also lie with the person or legal entity that employs their services, be they corporate services, legal services or religious services. For a criminal trial this has to be explored by the prosecution.
    The charging of the “faithful and discreet slave” as a religious body now has the ability to publicly expose the quasi-legal religious relationship they have with the Watch Tower Society and its legal department. The Watch Tower Society would no doubt never want this to be publicly exposed and therefore must take action to keep this hidden from scrutiny at all costs. It is irrelevant as to whether any observers believe in the “faithful and discreet slave” or not. It is real to Jehovah’s Witnesses and is the entire religious heart of their belief structure.
    To understand the court arguments we first need to establish whether the “faithful and discreet slave” exists under Victorian law.
    “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?”
    What we do know is that the “faithful and discreet slave” (FDS) have been criminally charged and are being prosecuted as “corporate accused.” We also know that there are seven charges on their “Charge-Sheet and Summons (Corporate Accused)” in relation to the Working with Children Act 2005. We do not know what the charges are as these have not yet been read out in court. This will happen in time, but until then it is anyone’s guess. In all reality the charge wordings are irrelevant.
    Under Victorian law a “corporate accused” can legally be an incorporated entity (a registered company), an association, or an unincorporated body. The “faithful and discreet slave” is not an incorporated entity (a registered company) and is not an association (no articles of association) so therefore the charge sheet or sheets must list it as an “unincorporated body.”
    According to the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as written in the book “Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will” on page 16, the “faithful and discreet slave” are a “body” which Christ uses “to publish information on the fulfillment of Bible prophecies and to give timely direction on the application of Bible principles in daily life.” Therefore, the “faithful and discreet slave”, by their own written admission, are a “body” of individual persons. As they are not incorporated this makes the “faithful and discreet slave” an unincorporated body similar to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The Working with Children Act 2005 says that a person includes “an unincorporated body or association and a partnership.” Therefore, the phrase “person” can also legally be applied to an unincorporated body. This then makes the “faithful and discreet slave” a legal entity under Victorian law, a “person” who operates as an unincorporated body.
    The Working with Children Act 2005 says that “If this Act provides that a person, being an unincorporated body or an association or a partnership, is guilty of an offence, that reference to the person must–(a) in the case of an unincorporated body or association–be read as a reference to each member of the committee of management of the body or association who knew of, or knowingly authorized or permitted, the commission of the offence.”
    To simplify, the Working with Children laws recognize unincorporated bodies as a legal entity by granting them legal status as a “person” under law. This was legislated so that there were no loopholes in the law that allowed or permitted anyone, or any group of people, religious or otherwise, from not complying with the Working with Children laws. In the event that a criminal offence is committed by the unincorporated body then the offence is deemed to have been committed by each member of the committee of management of the body.
    This understanding is important in that it shows that the “faithful and discreet slave” have been granted legal recognition under Victorian law as a body that does indeed exist as a legal entity. Why is this important?
    During the court hearing on October 11, legal counsel for the Watchtower Society, Rachel van Witsen, from Vincent Toole Solicitors (the Watchtower Society’s in-house law firm located inside Bethel, Australia) made a statement on behalf of the Watchtower Society that:-
    “The faithful and discreet slave is not a legal entity.”
    Vincent Toole Solicitors then went on to present arguments that the “faithful and discreet slave” do not exist as a “person” nor do they exist as an “unincorporated body” and nor do they exist as a “body” of Christians.
    Literally Vincent Toole Solicitors were arguing that the “faithful and discreet slave” should be struck off the charge list because they simply do not exist. In one broad sweeping statement the Watchtower Society and their in-house legal team completely destroyed the entire fabric and structure of the faith of some 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses. What next happened goes beyond the wildest imaginings that any Jehovah’s Witness could ever believe was possible.
    Steven Unthank stood up, looked around the courtroom, and then actually defended the “faithful and discreet slave” and the beliefs and doctrinal teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses. No one else came to the defense of the “faithful and discreet slave”. Steven Unthank, as the current acting prosecutor, was the only person who defended them. Unthank then presented argument that the “faithful and discreet slave” was real and was that body of Jehovah’s Witness Christians that had religious responsibility over the entire Christian congregation.
    The Watchtower Society and Vincent Toole Solicitors then presented rebuttal argument that the “faithful and discreet slave” did not exist but were nothing more than a:-
    “theological arrangement”
    A massive gasp could be heard emanating from the gallery from amongst a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had attended to watch the hearing. It is worth noting that Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that to deny the “faithful and discreet slave” is to deny the Christ and that those who deny the Christ are the antichrist.
    The Watchtower Society and Vincent Toole Solicitors then turned on the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and denied that they existed or operated within Victoria and Australia. The magistrate did not accept this argument and, after seeking approval from Steven Unthank, adjourned all the court hearings for four weeks.
    Simply put, the Watchtower Society and Vincent Toole Solicitors denied the existence of the “faithful and discreet slave” and denied the existence of the Christian congregation arrangement. What is also interesting in the entire court case to date is that it was the Watchtower Society and their in-house lawyers that brought theology and religion into the court room.
    It is possible that sometime in the future there could be a very serious courtroom hearing in which the whole existence of the “faithful and discreet slave” is argued but not in the way any Jehovah’s Witness could imagine. Unless the Watch Tower Society backs down, or the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses step in and defend their faith, then we could see Steven Unthank actually defending the existence of the “faithful and discreet slave” and the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses in open public court while the Watch Tower Society and their lawyers, with the backing of the Governing Body, deny the existence of the “faithful and discreet slave” and maybe even the Christian congregation. And if such a courtroom drama ever unfolds, then at any given time Steven Unthank could back down and the “faithful and discreet slave” become no more than a never existing group of imaginary Christians who are really nothing more than a convenient “theological arrangement” whom Jehovah’s Witnesses mistakenly believe exist and are their spiritual leaders who care about them.
    The only party not represented was the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is logical from a self-preserving religious point of view, as to defend the charges would be to acknowledge each single charge as being a “valid charge of improper conduct.” This would then disqualify each member from being an elder until the case was sorted out.
    This failure on the part of the Governing Body to appear or to be represented was noticed by the Magistrate who took the unusual step of suggesting and recommending to Steven Unthank that criminal charges be brought against every single member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses as opposed to the unincorporated body known as the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The only thing that may actually prevent this from really happening is that Steven Unthank lacks the financial resources. Good thing the Crown stated in court its intention to take over the prosecution.
    END OF REPORT
    Footnote by JW News
    The suggestion of the presiding Magistrate, as described in the last paragraph of the above report, was in relation to the failure of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to answer the Court Ordered Summons to appear before the Court. The Magistrate was of the opinion that the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses could also be described as an “association” and therefore made the recommendation that the 7 criminal charges be placed in the names of each officer or  ”member of the committee of management of the body or association who knew of, or knowingly authorised or permitted, the commission of the offence” or offences. This provision is allowed under section 45(1) of the Working with Children Act 2005. The individual members comprising the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses also comprise part of the committee of management for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As none of the officers or members of the committee of management for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses answered the summons to appear in Court, and, as such, had thereby established a documented court record of failing to answer a Court Summons, a “Charge-Sheet And Warrant To Arrest” could be issued in relation to individual charging.
    “Charge-Sheet And Warrant To Arrest” documents were prepared for the below listed individuals who were identified as being officers or members of  ”the committee of management of the body or association who knew of, or knowingly authorised or permitted, the commission of the offence” or offences:
    Geoffrey Jackson - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Samuel Herd - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Gerrit Losch - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    M. Stephen Lett - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    David H. Splane - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Anthony Morris - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Guy H. Pierce - current member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Donald H. MacLean - director of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia and elder.
    Harold Vivian Mouritz - director of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia and elder.
    Vincent Joseph Toole - legal officer for Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, legal counsel for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia, and elder.
    A number of other individuals were also identified as comprising part of the officers or members of the committee of management for the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia, however, a “Charge-Sheet And Warrant To Arrest” were not filled out or presented to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia, in relation to them.
    To download the above 32 page volume click on the below link
    JW NEWS
    Next weekend’s feature article will discuss and consider the criminal prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia.
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    Who Really is the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?

    March 3, 2012
    Part of a series of regular articles, opinions, and comments, written or compiled by Steven Unthank and others, to be published online at JW News every weekend.
    JW NEWS
    Feature Article
    www.jwnews.net

    Who Really is the “Faithful and Discreet Slave”?

    by Steven Unthank
    Saturday, March 3, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    Originally published October 20, 2011.

    I have been asked on several occasions recently if I believe in the “faithful and discreet slave” and whether I believe they exist as a body or group.
    It is not important what I personally believe on this subject. What is important is what the children believe.
    Do the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the “faithful and discreet slave” and that they are real? Do the children believe that the “faithful and discreet slave” represents God’s Kingdom? Do the children believe that the “faithful and discreet slave” personally represent Jesus Christ? Do the children believe that the “faithful and discreet slave” loves them? Do the children believe that the “faithful and discreet slave” will protect them? Do the children believe that the “faithful and discreet slave” would punish those in the congregation who break the law or sin against them?
    If the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this, then who are we to say the children are wrong.
    Children also believe that those who truly love them and truly care for them, will truly stand up to protect them.
    That’s why I’m standing up. I may not get far, I may not be able to protect these children in the best possible way, but I can stand up and I am standing up. That’s the best I can do.
    As to why the “faithful and discreet slave” has not stood up to protect the children and the families of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or to even punished those who broke the law or did wrong to the children, I cannot answer. I also cannot answer as to why, when asked in writing to represent these children over the working with children laws, the “faithful and discreet slave” declined.
    But what I can answer, is, that if the children believe in the “faithful and discreet slave” and that they really exist, then I will defend what the children believe in as well, even in open court.
    To download the above volume click on the below link
    Next weekend’s feature article will discuss and consider the criminal prosecution of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia.
    JW NEWS
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    Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry Report comments on the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    February 29, 2012

    Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry Report comments on the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    February 29, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    On January, 31, 2011, Premier Ted Baillieu launched the inquiry Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children to comprehensively investigate systemic problems in Victoria’s child protection system and make recommendations to strengthen and improve the protection and support of vulnerable young Victorians.
    In announcing the inquiry, Premier Baillieu said
    Thousands of vulnerable, at-risk children were neglected by the previous Labor Government and its legacy is a child protection system in crisis.
    We have a duty of care to protect our most vulnerable – to ensure they are safe from harm – and we are establishing this inquiry to identify the system’s weaknesses and provide practical recommendations to develop a strong support system for those in need.
    On June 8, 2011, the inquiry publicly heard evidence submitted by Mr Steven Unthank against the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society over their refusal to comply with mandatory child protection laws, such as the Working with Children Act 2005.
    In commenting on the religion’s refusal to comply with child protection laws, the Chair of the Inquiry, the Honourable Philip Cummins, said
    Every individual and every organisation, religious or otherwise, has to comply with the law.
     The above statement by the Honourable Philip Cummins was reflected in a number of recommendations made within the final report tabled with the Parliament of Victoria on Monday, February 27, 2012.

    Among the 90 recommendations made in the 900 page Cummins Report into the Protection of Vulnerable Children were
    47. The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) should be amended to create a separate reporting duty where there is a reasonable suspicion a child or young person who is under 18 is being, or has been, physically or sexually abused by an individual within a religious or spiritual organisation. The duty should extend to:
    • A minister of religion; and
    • A person who holds an office within, is employed by, is a member of, or volunteer of a religious or spiritual organisation that provides services to, or has regular contact with, children and young people.
    An exemption for information received during the rite of confession should be made.
    A failure to report should attract a suitable penalty having regard to section 326 of the Crimes Act 1958 and section 493 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.
    48. A formal investigation should be conducted into the processes by which religious organisations respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations. Such an investigation should possess the powers to compel the elicitation of witness evidence and of documentary and electronic evidence.
    If recommendation 47 is implemented by the State, this would mean that every single minister of religion within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria would be required by law to report all cases of child abuse within the religion to the governmental authorities and NOT to the local Body of Elders or the religion’s administrative arm, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.
    The Cummins Report also advised, in number 48 of it’s list of recommendations, that religions be investigated as to how they respond to the “criminal abuse of children” by religious personnel. The phrase “criminal abuse” is more than just physical or sexual abuse, it encompasses all aspects of abuse against children that is criminal and includes criminal breaches of the Working with Children Act 2005.
    On July 26, 2011, the entire worldwide religious and corporate hierarchy of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses were formally charged in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia, with the mass committing of criminal offences against children. The criminal charges were brought about after the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to respond to complaints made within the church format by members of the religion in relation to the criminal abuse of children committed by the entire Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the Branch Committee of the Australian headquarters of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
    A submission is currently being prepared by Mr Steven Unthank in relation to how the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia “respond to the criminal abuse of children by religious personnel within their organisations.”
    See the following related JW News articles for background information

    Highlights and Recommendations of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry Report

    The report, in the “List of Findings and Matters for Attention”, drew clear attention to the following
    The Working with Children Act 2005 clearly applies to persons in religious organisations.”
    The Cummins Report made no assertion or claim that any aspect of the Working with Children Act 2005, suffered from unclarity as it applied to “ministers of religion” and “religious organisations”.
    This qualified finding is at direct odds with a recent claim by Jehovah’s Witness and Watchtower Society senior elder, Mr Alan Wood, who, in a published interview in the Latrobe Valley Express newspaper, claimed that “unclarity” surrounded the Working with Children Act 2005 - and any mandatory child protection criteria – and that this “unclarity” was to blame for the past 3 years and 6 months of non-compliance with mandatory child protection laws by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in every single church in the State of Victoria.
    It is worth noting that over 820,000 individuals and organisations within the State of Victoria have complied with the Working with Children laws thereby debunking any claim of “unclarity” in the application of these laws.
    See the Latrobe Valley Express newspaper article Private Prosecution Gets Thrown Out Of Court
    In response to Mr Alan Wood’s baffling excuse for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in relation to their absolute non-compliance with the law – until they were actually criminally charged – a parent within the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses told JW News
    What part of the Working with Children legislation was unclear in that [the] entire religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to comply with these laws? Was it the part that said “minister of religion” or the part that said “religious organisation” or maybe it was the part that said “protecting children” that the entire religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t understand? Unclarity, is that even a word in the Bible? Those who broke these laws need to be held accountable, both by [the] Church and by the State. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses needs to apologize to the children, the parents, the community, the religion, the State, and then they must step down as religious leaders.

    The Cummins Report on the Working with Children Act 2005

    Volume 2, chapter 3, pages 66 and 69, of the Cummins Report provides the following overview of the Working with Children Act 2005
    The WWC Act regulates how the government determines who is suitable to work with or care for children and young people. People who work with children on a regular basis must apply for a Working with Children check and employers, volunteer organisations and employment agencies must not engage anyone in child-related work without a current ‘positive notice’ or Working with Children Check Card.
    Section 9 of the Act defines child-related work to include volunteer work and practical training and lists various services, bodies and activities including clubs, associations or movements, and religious organisations.
    The Victorian Department of Justice is responsible for conducting assessments and issuing a Working with Children Check Card. Section 39A of the WWC Act prohibits registered sex offenders from applying for an assessment. The Act creates various offences if a person works with children without a Working with Children Check Card. The application of this Act in the context of religious and volunteer organisations involving children is discussed further in Chapter 14.
    For comprehensive information on the Working with Children Act 2005 and the Working with Children laws see

    Chapter 14  ”Strengthening the law protecting children and young people” of the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry report

    CYF Act = Children, Youth and Families Act 2005
    DOJ = Department of Justice
    WWC Act = Working with Children Act 2005
    Note: Compliance with the Working with Children Act 2005 became compulsory for “ministers or religion” and “religious organisations” from July 1, 2008, onwards.
    [EXTRACTED VERBATIM FROM THE CUMMINS REPORT]
    14.5 Protecting children from abuse within religious organisations
    The community is all too aware of the numerous cases of child abuse that have occurred within religious organisations or associations and the severe trauma caused by sustained and unreported episodes of abuse inflicted by ministers of religion and other trusted religious leaders. Churches and religious organisations have traditionally included the provision of many child-related services and activities. Public commentary on past incidents of child abuse within such organisations and the perceived inadequacies with organisational responses is frequent and often damning.
    Section 14.4.7 has dealt with the issue of whether the mandatory reporting requirements of the CYF Act should be extended to religious personnel. The two further matters that the Inquiry has considered in the specific context of whether the current legal framework adequately protects vulnerable children within or who are in contact with religious organisations are:
    • The application of the WWC Act to religious personnel; and
    • Whether reports alleging child abuse are dealt with internally by religious organisations as opposed to being reported to the secular authorities.
    14.5.1 Application of the Working with Children Act 2005 to religious personnel
    Chapter 3 sets out a brief summary of the WWC Act. The Act provides for a system of checks to prevent people who are not suitable from working with children. The check is necessary for roles that involve regular contact with children. The Check, which also applies to voluntary positions, looks for certain criminal offences and findings by certain professional disciplinary bodies such as the Victorian Institute of Teaching. DOJ published relevant statistics on its website. The department issued 820,982 assessment notices, 824 negative notices, and 1074 interim negative notices under the Act from April 2006 to September 2011 (DOJ 2011).
    It is an offence under sections 33 and 35 the Act to work or volunteer in a role that involves regular contact with children without first obtaining an assessment notice (that is, a clear Working with Children Check), or to employ such a person without a check. At the Morwell Public Sitting, the Inquiry heard a submission that alleged there was a failure by Victoria Police to prosecute breaches under section 33 and 35 of the WWC Act and confusion as to which agency had the responsibility to investigate and enforce breaches of the WWC Act with respect to a particular religious organisation (Mr Unthank, Morwell Public Sitting.)
    It is not appropriate for the Inquiry to comment on specific organisations and their compliance with the Act. The Inquiry notes that the WWC Act was gradually implemented and has only been fully operational since 1 July 2011. As noted in Chapter 3, the WWC Act extends to work done in connection with various services, bodies and activities including religious organisations. The Inquiry has heard on this point from the Catholic Church that in relation to that organisation, there is a blanket policy that all religious personnel and persons over the age of 18 associated with parish or school work require a check under the WWC Act (Catholic Bishops of Victoria submission, p. 5).
    A review of the WWC Act was conducted in 2009, and a number of amendments were made to the Act in 2010 to improve the operation of the Act. The Inquiry makes no comment on the specific matter raised in the Public sitting. The Inquiry considers that it is too soon within the full implementation of the Act to provide any meaningful comment on the level of compliance by religious organisations with the Act and on the investigation and enforcement processes in relation to possible offences committed under sections 33 and 35 of the Act.
    The Act is an important element of the legal framework in place to protect vulnerable children. It is appropriate for there to be not only an effective response to any complaints of potential offences committed under the Act, which is the responsibility of Victoria Police, but also for there to be proactive administration of the Act by DOJ. In that regard, any future review of the operation of the Act would benefit with the recording and reporting of data in relation to investigations and prosecutions under the Act as well as the number of active audits undertaken by DOJ of religious and other organisations that involve working with children, on their level of compliance with the requirements of the Act.
    As noted above, DOJ records data relating to the application and issue of Working With Children Checks and published these on its website. The recording and reporting of data on the number of investigations and prosecutions for breaches of the WWC Act is not recorded.

    Download Chapter 14 “Strengthening the law to protect children and young people” from the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry Report

    [END]
    JW NEWS
    Related JW News articles
    Jehovah’s Witnesses Hierarchy Charged With Criminal Offences
    Victoria’s Child Protection Inquiry Hears Evidence Against Jehovah’s Witnesses And The Watch Tower Society
    [TRANSCRIPT] Protecting Children Inquiry hears evidence about ongoing refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society to comply with mandatory child protection laws as legislated in the Working with Children Act 2005 for “religious organisations”
    Watch Tower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse assistance from Department of Justice over Child Protection Laws
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 1
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 2
    Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Circuit Overseer Visit to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses to Apologize for Sins Against the Children
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Escape Judgement for Crimes Against the Children!
    Criminal Prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, et al. – Court Results – February 21, 2012
    The Responsibility To Bear Witness
    JW NEWS

    h1

    The Responsibility To Bear Witness

    February 26, 2012
    Part of a series of regular articles, opinions, and comments, written or compiled by Steven Unthank and others, to be published online at JW News every weekend.
    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net

    The Responsibility To Bear Witness

    by Steven Unthank
    Sunday, February 26, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA

    This bearing witness can be a form of testifying under oath or in writing on behalf of someone who has, or may have been wronged, and therefore by necessity requires potential witnesses or representation to help the one wronged to get justice or to clear his or her name. Any witnesses of the wrong would know who has suffered an injustice and would have a responsibility to come forward to establish their innocence, and identify the guilty if known, otherwise they themself must pay the penalty.
    In the volume set, Commentary on the Old Testament by Keil & Delitzsch, the authors point out that, from a Biblical point of view, an individual can become guilty of someone else’s sin if they
    “knew of another’s crime, whether he had seen it, or had come to the certain knowledge of it in any other way, and was therefore qualified to appear in court as a witness for the conviction of the criminal, neglected to do so, and did not state what he had seen or learned, when he heard the solemn adjuration of the judge at the public investigation of the crime, by which all persons present, who knew anything of the matter, were urged to come forward as witnesses.”
    Is such a claim valid? Consider the Scriptural principle of Leviticus chapter 5 and verse 1 in the light of the following…
    Not one single person in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses voluntarily came forward to bear witness on behalf of the children and their families to get justice in the recent criminal court cases before the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, over criminal breaches of the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005. The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses remained silent.
    Likewise, not one single person in the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses came forward to bear witness on behalf of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses nor on behalf of the “faithful and discreet slave” for the purpose of clearing their name or establishing their innocence. The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses again remained silent.
    Either way, the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses neither came forward to establish guilt nor to establish innocence. They simply remained silent.
    Silence does not absolve an individual of liability nor of being a sharer in the sins, or crimes, of others. Non-compliance with the Working with Children laws is not only a crime, but also the sin of lawlessness.
    Sharing in the Sins of Others
    But suppose we realize that a suggested course of action is wrong? Does our rejecting it necessarily free us of further responsibility in the matter? If we know that those suggesting wrongdoing are engaging in it, what should we do?
    Some who have knowledge of wrongdoing by others may be inclined to say nothing about it to those having the prime responsibility to keep the congregation clean. Why? Perhaps they do not want to be viewed as informers. Or, because of a false sense of loyalty, they may keep the matter quiet or may speak only to those who promise to keep it secret. This is very serious. Why? Because it can actually result in sharing in the sins of others.
    . . . In today’s world, covering over the wrongdoing of others is a general practice. Many are as mute as a stone wall when it comes to revealing the wrongdoing of others to those who should know about such actions. It requires strength of Christian personality to inform appointed elders of the serious sin of a fellow believer. But if we are to have Jehovah’s favor, we must not let personal friendship blind us to the wrongdoing of another individual. Our relationship with God is of far greater importance than loyalty to a friend who is guilty of serious wrongdoing and refuses to reveal the matter.
    - The Watchtower magazine, November 15, 1985, pages 19 and 21.
    The Watch Tower Society claims that the elders within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia, do not work with children and as such have no responsibility towards young ones by complying with child protection laws. All bodies of elders within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the State of Victoria went on record late last year, and claimed – by publicly reading out a letter within their Kingdom Hall – that they, as elders, have no “direct contact” with children, even going so far as citing the Working with Children Act 2005.
    The Working with Children Act 2005 defines “direct contact” for a “minister of religion” as:
     any contact between a person and a child that involves–
    (a) physical contact; or
    (b) face to face oral communication; or
    (c) physically being within eyeshot.”
    It is irrelevant if a parent or guardian, or even another adult is present. The Working with Children Check Application Guide and Form, on page 2, explains that “being within eyeshot” simply means that “you can see them” while carrying out your assigned duties (which includes any internal ministry) within the “religious organisation” you volunteer or work in. That is why the Working with Children Act 2005 stated that the assigned duties for “ministers of religion” include, by default, working with children. Simply put, the law states that if there is so much as one child within your “religious organisation” then any “minister of religion” works with children by default and must comply with child protection laws, which for “religious organisations” became compulsory on July 1, 2008.
     ”Although child training is primarily the duty of parents, elders also have a responsibility toward young ones in the congregation. In caring for God’s flock, overseers also need to shepherd the lambs. (1 Peter 5:1-3) What a fine example Jehovah has set in tenderly caring for even the little ones! (Isaiah 40:11) Responding to his example, Christian undershepherds will also want to display warm, loving interest in young people and make them feel a part of the congregation.”
    The Watchtower magazine, May 15, 1990, page 29.
    Jesus is recorded in the Scriptures as saying
     “Whoever receives one such young child on the basis of my name receives me also. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones who put faith in me, it is more beneficial for him to have hung around his neck a millstone such as is turned by an ass and to be sunk in the wide, open sea . . . See to it that you men do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell YOU that their angels in heaven always behold the face of my father who is in heaven.”
    – The Holy Bible, Gospel of Matthew, chapter 18 and verses 6 and 10, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
    Would Jesus work with children?
    Background reading on Leviticus 5:1 — w87 9/1 p. 13 “A Time to Speak”—When?
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    Prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses – Court Results – February 21, 2012

    February 21, 2012

    Criminal Prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, et al. – Court Results – February 21, 2012

    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    Suffer Little Children – Forbid Them Not
    by Steven Unthank
    February 21, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA
    I went to court today to defend and protect the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. All I carried in my hand were two books, the Holy Bible and a copy of the Working with Children Act 2005. These I placed on the bar table as I took my seat before the Magistrate. There was nothing else I could do. The prosecuting of these 5 separate criminal cases and 35 individual charges had been taken off me.
    I left court today after having failed to defend and protect the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I carried in my hand only one book.
    I apologize to the children for failing to defend them and for failing to protect them. Please forgive me. I tried my best, God knows I tried my best.
    Steven Unthank
    former Acting Prosecutor
    .

    The Sun To Make You Happy

    Today, tomorrow, and for all eternity the sun will rise every day upon the good and upon the bad. It shows no partiality.
    Today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives the sun will rise every day and shine upon you and shine upon me. It is my prayer that maybe the sun will make you happy. It has brought me great joy in my life.

    The above painting “the sun to make you happy” was personally drawn by a young child in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses who was recently raped by a fellow member of the church. Part of her rape included the insertion of Lego blocks into her vagina. This innocent child then went on to be criminally abused yet again, only this time by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and by the Watch Tower Society and by the Body of Elders within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when they refused to comply with mandatory child protection laws for “religious organisations” and for “ministers of religion” as legislated in the Working with Children Act 2005.
    Following the rapes and abuse the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses turned it’s back on this child and her family, as well as the other abused children, and then actively hindered, opposed and condemned any execution of justice by aiding and shielding the lawbreakers.
    The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr John Champion SC, after consultation with the Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr Ken Lay, declared in court today that the prosecution of those who abused this child, and other children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, “is not in the public interest”. Thereupon the Director of Public Prosecutions discontinued the prosecution. The Magistrate declared in Court that he was powerless to prevent it. The police and the State refused to protect these children and to grant them equal protection of the law.
    “Only persons have human rights . . . Corporations do not have human rights . . . Every person is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law . . . Families are the fundamental group unit of society and are entitled to be protected by society and the State . . . Every child has the right, without discrimination, to such protection as is in his or her best interests and is needed by him or her by reason of being a child.” – Victorian Charter of Human Rights.
    “The main purpose of this Act is to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them have their suitability to do so checked by a government body.” – Section 1(1) Working with Children Act 2005, Victoria, Australia.
    “It is encouraging to know that child abuse is now acknowledged as a worldwide problem . . . some countries . . . are even setting up a register of known pedophiles, restricting their easy access to children. Then there are those who seek a better life for children by passing legislation to protect them . . . While we all no doubt applaud such efforts to rid society of child abuse, we must be realistic and acknowledge that child abuse has very deep roots in human society. It would be naive to think that a simple solution such as legislation will provide complete protection for our children. Many laws have already been passed, and yet the problem persists. It is really an indictment of the world’s delinquent adults that the natural right to childhood has to be protected by a vast array of laws. Laws are not the ultimate protection for children . . . governments, pushed to the limits by economic constraints, are not doing enough to stop the exploitation of their children . . . Think of the heartbreak of parents who have discovered, too late, that their children have been abused by trusted clergymen, teachers, or even close family members. It would be good for you as a parent to ask yourself, ‘Does my church tolerate or cover up child abuse? Is my religion holding firmly to high moral principles?’ Answers to such questions could help you to make wise choices in protecting your children.”  - Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Awake! magazine, April 8, 1999.
    Related Articles
    Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Worldwide Church Hierarchy Charged With Child Abuse
    Victoria’s Child Protection Inquiry Hears Evidence Against Jehovah’s Witnesses And The Watch Tower Society
    Child Protection Inquiry – Full Transcript
    Watch Tower Society and Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse assistance from Department of Justice over Child Protection Laws
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 1
    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 2
    Jehovah’s Witness Circuit Overseer Visit to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Factors Affecting the Prosecution of a Case - On Prosecuting a Case or Discontinuing the Prosecution of a Case
    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Escape Judgement for Crimes Against the Children!
    Links
    KidsVictoria.org  All about the Victorian Working with Children Laws.
    StevenUnthank.com 
    “The law is paralysed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” – The Holy Bible, Habakkuk 1:4, New International Version.
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    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Escape Judgment for Crimes Against the Children!

    February 20, 2012
    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    article by Steven Unthank
    February 20, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA

    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses to Escape Judgement for Crimes Against the Children!

    Today, Monday, 20 February, 2012, I was formally notified in writing by letter that, Mr John Champion SC, the Director of Public Prosecutions (the Crown), intends to exercise his power to take over all 5 criminal prosecution cases…
    “for the purpose of discontinuing them.”
    One of the 2 reasons given was that, in the opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watch Tower Society, and others, over criminal breaches of mandatory child protection laws was…
    “not in the public interest.”
    At 2.00 pm today I emailed a letter to the Director of Public Prosecution in response to his written letter. My entire letter, which, due to time constraints, was compiled in under an hour, appears as follows…
    [Please note: all the alleged rapes and child abuse allegations mentioned in the following letter have been reported by myself and also by Latrobe Regional Hospital to Victoria Police. For reasons unexplained all investigations are currently on hold.]
    - page 1 -
    20 February 2012
    [John Champion SC]
    Director of Public Prosecutions
    565 Lonsdale Street
    Melbourne
    Victoria 3000
    By email: director@opp.vic.gov.au
    Dear Sir,
    Re: Private Criminal Prosecution by Steven Unthank
    Corporate Accused: GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    Case No.: B12083527
    Corporate Accused: FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE
    Case No.: B12083367
    Corporate Accused: CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    Case No.: B12083108
    Corporate Accused: WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC.
    Case No.: B12083833
    WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA
    Case No.: B12082206
    This letter is to acknowledge receipt today of your letter dated 17 February 2012 (Your Ref: 2011-00944) and your written notification that “should the charges in respect of the five accused remain on foot as of Tuesday 21st February” then you will exercise your power under section 22(1)(b)(ii) of the Public Prosecutions Act 1994 (Vic) to “take over the prosecutions for the purpose of discontinuing them.”
    The right of a private individual to institute a prosecution for a breach of the law has been said to be “a valuable constitutional safeguard against inertia or partiality on the part of authority” (per Lord Wilberforce in Gouriet –v- Union of Post Office Workers [1978] AC 435 at 477).
    The action taken by myself in bringing criminal charges against the above corporate accused was initiated in December 2010 when I made personal application to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. This course of action taken by myself on behalf of the community followed 2 years and 6 months of “inertia” by Victoria Police, the Child Safety Commissioner, the Department of Justice, and the State Government of Victoria.
    In June 2011 I was granted permission to bring private criminal charges against the above corporate accused in relation to breaches of the Working with Children Act 2005 section 35(1)(a)(b)(c). The “Charge-Sheet And Summons (Corporate Accused)” for each of the above corporate accused was filed in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria on 26 July 2011. The filing fees were paid for by a number
    - page 2 -
    of children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was actually these young children who engaged my services for the purpose of protecting themselves from those who hold little or no regard in assisting in protecting these children “from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them have their suitability to do so checked by a government body.” Working with Children Act 2005 section 1(1).
    Among the group of children who engaged my services and paid for the filing fees from their pocket money including 2 young Jehovah’s Witness children from the Traralgon Congregation who had been raped by a fellow member of the religion. Recently the Latrobe Regional Hospital called in Victoria Police to investigate the abuse of a 3rd child from the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A Jehovah’s Witness elder, from the Traralgon Congregation was caught in a private room of the hospital standing over this young girl. The girl was completely naked. This elder had gained unauthorised access to the paediatric ward of the hospital. He was not invited by the hospital or the parents. In fact the parents had written to the church instructing them that this elder was to have no contact with their child as the parents were of the opinion that the elder was a child abuser.
    Another child who helped pay for the filing fees and had asked me to help him in this matter did so because many years ago his younger sister was raped by a member of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and he, as a very young boy, was powerless to prevent it. He witnessed the rape. During the rape the rapist inserted Lego blocks and figurines into his little sister’s vagina. This young boy froze in fear. Later he had to remove the Lego’s. The rapist remains a ‘fine upstanding’ member of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and regularly gives talks from the church podium in his local Jehovah’s Witness congregation, even though he confessed to the rapes to a number of Jehovah’s Witness ministers.
    I promised these children that I would do everything in my power to protect them and to see that they get justice, not just for the rapes and abuse, but justice against those who showed no regard for their sexual or physical safety and expressed this in action by refusing to comply with the Working with Children Act 2005.
    Over the days, weeks, months, and years to come, I can proudly walk within the Victorian community knowing that I did everything within my power and within my ability to protect these children and to protect the community. I will hold me head high.
    On the other hand, you have failed to protect these children, you have failed to serve justice, and you have failed to serve the community. The parents of these children have asked me to convey to you their abhorrence and outright disgust in you as a human being and as a public official because you never lifted your finger to help these children nor to serve the community. They have also asked me to inform you that they demand you immediate resignation as a violator of the human rights of these children.
    Our Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 states in section 8:
    (1) Every person has the right to recognition as a person before the law.
    (3) Every person is equal before the law and is entitled to the equal protection of the law.
    In section 17 of the Charter it states in law:
    17. Protection of families and children
    - page 3 -
    (1) Families are the fundamental group unit of society and are entitled to be protected by society and the state.
    (2) Every child has the right, without discrimination, to such protection as is in his or her best interest and is needed by him or her by reason of being a child.
    In your letter you stated that “on an evidentiary level, there is no reasonable prospect of conviction in relation to these offences.” My understanding, after an extensive search at the Supreme Court Library in Melbourne, is that there has never been a prosecution carried out in relation “to these offences.” There is enough evidence, namely, all the children and all the parents and the fact that the church elders (“ministers of religion”) did not have an Assessment Notice as required by the Working with Children Act 2005 for the entire time period referred to in the charges sheets.
    In your letter you stated a second and final reason for discontinuing the prosecution “it is not in the public interest.” Over 780,000 individual members of the public, in addition to thousands of clubs, charities, schools, organisations and religions, all complied with the Working with Children Act 2005. Only one organisation, that we know of, refused to comply. This thus provides irrefutable evidence that prosecution is in the best interest of the public.
    The prosecution is not in the best interest of Victoria Police as such a prosecution would prove an embarrassment to the Chief Commissioner and Victoria Police as they failed to enforce the law. The prosecution is also not in the best interest of the Department of Justice, nor the Child Safety Commissioner, nor the current State Government, nor the previous State Government, as none of these took any action to protect the children or to enforce child protection laws.
    To prosecute those who break child protection laws is in the best interest of the public and the community. Criminal breaches of child protection laws are of considerable public concern. To not prosecute is to weaken the law and undermine community harmony and public confidence in the administration of justice. The need for deterrence is paramount.
    On the 8th November 2011, I lodged with the Magistrates’ Court a “Charge Sheet And Warrant To Arrest” in relation to the following 7 individuals:
    GEOFFREY JACKSON (Australian)
    SAMUEL HERD (American)
    GERRIT LOSCH (Austrian)
    M. STEPHEN LETT (American)
    DAVID H. SPLANE (Canadian)
    ANTHONY MORRIS (American)
    GUY H. PIERCE (American)
    The above are the 7 members of the GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES (unincorporated body) and are also the 7 members of the FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE (unincorporated body). They also comprise the main individuals who make up the committee of management for the CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES (unincorporated body).
    The application for arrest warrants was due process in response to their failure to attend court in relation to the charges brought against them and under the proviso of section 45 (1)(a) of the Working with Children Act 2005.
    - page 4 -
    The application was referred by the senior registrar of the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley to the Chief Magistrate for comment. Subsequently I was notified that I have been granted to make application to the sitting Magistrate for a decision as to issuing in relation to each of the arrest warrants.
    This I intend to do prior to your taking “over these prosecutions for the purpose of discontinuing them.” My reasons for this are purely due process of the law. I have included a copy of each of the arrest warrants for your perusal. I ask for your support.
    Yours faithfully,
    Mr Steven Unthank
    Acting Prosecutor
    - [attachment] -
    - page 5 -
    COURT APPEARANCE SUMMARY
    On Friday, 12 August, 2011, each of the Corporate Accused were served with a Summons to appear in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria at Latrobe Valley. Affidavits of service were lodge with the court.
    The following are for your records on how each of the accused responded to the Summons and to the Charges:
    Corporate Accused: GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    Case No.: B12083527
    Summoned to appear at the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley on 13 September 2011.
    •  Failed to appear and were not represented by counsel.
    •  Failed to appear or be represented for all subsequent court hearings.
    •  No “Notice of Appearance” filed.
    Corporate Accused: FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE
    Case No.: B12083367
    Summoned to appear at the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley on 13 September 2011.
    •  Failed to appear and were not represented by counsel.
    •  Failed to appear or be represented for all subsequent court hearings.
    •  No “Notice of Appearance” filed.
    Corporate Accused: CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    Case No.: B12083108
    Summoned to appear at the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley on 13 September 2011.
    •  Failed to appear and were not represented by counsel.
    •  Failed to appear or be represented for all subsequent court hearings.
    •  No “Notice of Appearance” filed.
    Corporate Accused: WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC.
    Case No.: B12083833
    Summoned to appear at the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley on 13 September 2011.
    •  Failed to appear and were not represented by counsel.
    •  Failed to appear or be represented for all subsequent court hearings.
    •  No “Notice of Appearance” filed.
    - page 6 -
    WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA
    Case No.: B12082206
    Summoned to appear at the Magistrates’ Court at Latrobe Valley on 13 September 2011.
    •  Represented by legal counsel.
    •  Represented by legal counsel for all subsequent court hearings.
    Summary
    During every single court hearing the GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, and the FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE, and the CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES, and the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC., all failed to appear or to be represented.
    Only the WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA was represented by counsel from Vincent Toole Solicitors. Mr Vincent Toole is the in-house lawyer for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a minister of religion, and part of the committee of management for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia. He was directly appointed by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses as their “direct representative.”
    [END OF LETTER]
    Link to Office of Public Prosecutions web site
    JW NEWS

    h1

    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses to Apologize for Sins Against the Children

    February 18, 2012
    JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    article by Steven Unthank
    February 18, 2012
    Victoria, AUSTRALIA

    Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses to Apologize for Sins Against the Children

    Suffer the Children

    Yesterday, Friday 17, 2012, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of children from the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. These children formed part of the group of children who recently sent an “Open Letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses”. Among this small group of Jehovah’s Witness children that I met with were two young girls that had been raped by a fellow member of the religion. The girls are coping very well. Their parents are not.
    See the following JW News articles: Crisis of Conscience
    Download the ‘open letter’ here: www.bit.ly/jw-open-letter
    During our brief chat I got to ask the children if the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses or even their local elders had said ‘sorry’ to them over the religion’s failure to comply with child protection laws; and had they received a reply to their open letter.
    The children replied “No!”
    These children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses wrote to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses because they had been hurt by the sins of their elders. In their ‘open letter’ the children said:
    “It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.”
    These young Jehovah’s Witness children then looked at me expecting that somehow I might be able to explain to them why the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has ignored them.
    What do you say to a child who has been “despised” by their religion? What do you say to a young girl who has been raped by a fellow member of her church and then is cast aside by the very religion who promised to protect her? What do you say to children who have been denied an apology from their religious leaders?
    I had no answer. Words failed me. Instead I gave each of them a hug.
    These children held out an offer of forgiveness to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This offer from these innocent young children was utterly rejected.
    One of the parents asked me why Victoria Police, the State Government of Victoria, and the Victorian Child Safety Commissioner refused to enforce the child protection laws for so many years. I had no answer. Again, the same parent asked why the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions have not taken any action to prosecute the religious leaders of Jehovah’s Witnesses over their refusal to comply with child protection laws for over 3 years. Again I had no answer.
    Words failed me a second time.
    Following my discussion with the children a Jehovah’s Witness parent handed me a folder containing evidence in relation to another child within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had been recently abused. Among the documents given to me was a letter issued to the parent by Mr Peter Craighead, Chief Executive, Latrobe Regional Hospital, Traralgon, which confirmed that the hospital had recently called in the police to investigate an allegation of child abuse committed against a young child within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.  A second letter, also issued by Latrobe Regional Hospital identified the “alleged” perpetrator as an elder within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Clearly it is in the best interests of the children and in the public’s interest for the Director of Public Prosecutions (the Crown) to continue the criminal prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and others over their refusal to comply with mandatory child protection laws within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Victoria, Australia.
    On the other hand, perhaps it’s best if the children suffer in silence, we all keep our mouths shut, and that those who have abused children are allowed to escape accountability and punishment.

    JW NEWS
    “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” – James 4:17, New World translation.
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    Factors Affecting the Prosecution of a Case

    February 6, 2012
     JW NEWS
    www.jwnews.net
    February 6, 2012

    Factors Affecting the Prosecution of a Case

    On Prosecuting a Case or Discontinuing the Prosecution of a Case

    The decision to prosecute a case is not one that is taken lightly. There are strict criteria in place governing the decision to prosecute.
    It has long been recognised that not all criminal offences must automatically result in a criminal prosecution. The resources available for prosecution action are finite and should not be wasted.
    The decision whether or not to prosecute is the most important step in the prosecution process. In every case great care must be taken in the interests of the victim, the suspected offender and the community at large to ensure that the right decision is made. A wrong decision to prosecute or, conversely, a wrong decision not to prosecute, both tend to undermine the confidence of the community in the criminal justice system.
    The criteria for the exercise of this discretion cannot be reduced to something akin to a mathematical formula; indeed it would be undesirable to attempt to do so. The breadth of the factors to be considered in exercising this discretion indicates a candid recognition of the need to tailor general principles to individual cases.
    The initial consideration in the exercise of the discretion to prosecute or not prosecute is whether the evidence is sufficient to justify the institution or continuation of a prosecution. A prosecution should not be instituted or continued unless there is admissible, substantial and reliable evidence that a criminal offence known to the law has been committed by the alleged offender.
    When deciding whether the evidence is sufficient to justify the institution or continuation of a prosecution the existence of a bare prima facie case is not sufficient to justify the prosecution. Once it is established that there is a prima facie case it is then necessary to give consideration to the prospects of conviction.
    The decision as to whether there is a reasonable prospect of a conviction requires an evaluation of how strong the case is likely to be when presented in Court. It must take into account such matters as the availability, competence and credibility of witnesses and their likely impression on the arbiter of fact, and the admissibility of any alleged confession or other evidence. The prosecutor should also have regard to any lines of defence which are plainly open to, or have been indicated by, the alleged offender and any other factors which in the view of the prosecutor could affect the likelihood or otherwise of a conviction. This assessment may be a difficult one to make, and of course there can never be an assurance that a prosecution will succeed. Indeed it is inevitable that some will fail.
    When evaluating the evidence the prosecutor must also be prepared to look beneath the surface of the statements and evidence.
    Having satisfied himself or herself that the evidence is sufficient to justify the institution or continuation of a prosecution, the prosecutor must then consider whether, in the light of the provable facts and the whole of the surrounding circumstances, the public interest requires a prosecution to be pursued.
    The factors which can properly be taken into account in deciding whether the public interest requires a prosecution will vary from case to case. While many public interest factors militate against a decision to proceed with a prosecution, there are public interest factors which operate in favour of proceeding with a prosecution (for example, the seriousness of the offence, the need for deterrence). In this regard, generally speaking the more serious the offence the less likely it will be that the public interest will not require that a prosecution be pursued.
    Prosecution for murder, rape, sexual assault, drug trafficking, child abuse, arson, theft, fraud, drink driving as well as the prosecution of those who flout or break laws governing the protection of vulnerable members of the community are areas that generally fall within the parameters of public interest…
    To read the rest of the article or to download a pdf copy of the full article go to… 
    http://jwnewsnetwork.wordpress.com/factors-affecting-the-prosecution-of-a-case/ 
    JW News
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    Circuit Overseer Visit to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    January 30, 2012
    JW NEWS OPINION
    www.jwnews.net
    article by Steven Unthank
    January 30, 2012
    Yesterday the Circuit Overseer finished up his week long visit to the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. For those who may not be aware, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses arrange for the appointment of circuit overseers as their direct representatives to travel from congregation to congregation.
    The circuit overseer did not meet with the children in the Traralgon congregation who wrote the ‘open letter’ to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He did not offer an apology to these children on behalf of the Governing Body. He did not explain why the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to comply with mandatory child protection laws for over 3 entire years. He did not answer any of the questions the child had asked.
    These children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses wrote to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses because they had been hurt by the sins of their elders. In the ‘open letter’ the children said:
    “It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.”
    The circuit overseer also offered no assistance to the children in the Traralgon congregation that were victims of crime, crimes committed by their religious leaders, their elders. He offered no words of comfort to the children in the congregation that had been raped. He offered no reassurance that the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses does indeed care for and love these children and will help them and protect them and see that they get justice. Instead the circuit overseer reminded the congregation to draw close to Jehovah.
    The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wrote the following in the book “Draw Close to Jehovah” (page 268):
    “If others have been hurt by our sins, God is pleased when we do what we can to right the wrong. (Matthew 5:23,24) This may involve acknowledging our sin, admitting our guilt, and even apologizing to the victim.”
    If God is pleased when we right the wrong, acknowledge our sin, admit our guilt, and apologize; then who is pleased when we refuse to right the wrong, refuse to acknowledge our sin, refuse to admit our guilt, and refuse to apologize? Clearly not God!
    Even a very young child knows how to say “I’m sorry”.

    Is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses capable of apologizing to the children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
    That all depends on whether their conscience accuses or excuses.
    An earlier JW News article based on the above question made the following comment about our conscience:
    A conscience either accuses or excuses. It never acquits. A good conscience moves one to take the initiative to apologize to others when they have wronged them, even if unintentionally. On the other hand, a hardened conscience causes one to excuse their actions or to justify their wrong course of conduct, often by blaming others. Either way, the outcome is a clear conscience, genuine or self-deceptive.
    These children are trying their hardest to make room in their lives for their spiritual leaders. To try is the best they can do. They have been literally skinned and thrown about like little lambs without a shepherd. Yet, despite this, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses continues to say to the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and to the world:
    “Allow room for us. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one.” – 2 Corinthians 7:2 NWT
    Clearly they have wronged these children, corrupted the entire congregation, and are actively taking advantage of everybody by means of the religious power they wield and the position within the community that they hold.
    JW NEWS
    “Come to your senses, behave properly, and leave sin alone; there are some of you who seem not to know God at all; you should be ashamed.” - 1 Corinthians 15:34, Jerusalem Bible.
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    Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    January 12, 2012

    Open Letter from the Children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses

    JW NEWS WORLD EXCLUSIVE
    January 12, 2012
    JW News has been approached this week by family members representing a number children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses with a personal request that we publish and distribute their children’s “Open Letter to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses”.
    Those making the request simply asked “could you please publish this letter on the internet so that it can get the widest possible public distribution and so that it can eventually be read by each member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We’ve written to the Governing Body in the past and they have refused to respond.”
    When asked why they had approached JW News to publish the ‘open letter’ the reply was “the media and the newspapers have not yet fully covered the story of our children and how our religion and the [Watch Tower] Society have broken the child protection laws. The only way we can get this open letter into the newspapers is if we pay for a whole newspaper page and publish it ourselves. We can’t afford this. But getting the letter out there is very important for the children and also for everybody else. Hopefully those who read the letter will share it with as many people as possible.”
    JW News is proud to publish the below ‘open letter’ as requested by the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It touched our hearts when we first read it and it is our hope that it touches yours.
    JW NEWS
    Link to this article for reposting:
    .
    - 1 -
    AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    TO THE GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    January 1, 2012
    To the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Dear brothers,
    We were wondering why you did not help look after us and protect us children in Victoria, Australia, by having the elders get their working with children cards and why you have not said sorry for breaking the law.
    When us kids are naughty or we do something bad we have to say sorry to the people we did wrong to. This is what Jehovah and Jesus says in the Bible that we must do if we want to be good people. Sometimes when us kids are naughty at home we get ‘time out’ and sometimes if we are really naughty we might also get punished. If we break the rules at school then we can also get ‘time out’ or we might get yard duty or even suspended or expelled.
    Why have you not said sorry to us kids and why are you hiding what you did wrong to us? Why has Jehovah not punished you and why are you still elders? Why aren’t you upset that you broke the law and that you did wrong things against us children, the little lambs? We know we are only kids, but why don’t you care about us like Jesus cares about us and all of the children?
    Why didn’t you do anything to help us when you were first told about the new laws to protect us children all those years ago? All these good laws try to do is to stop bad people from spending time with us or from trying to hurt us. You could have stopped all these problems if only you listened when you were first told. Now you could go to jail for what you did wrong.
    Our parents tell us that Jehovah always disciplines those he loves. Why has Jehovah not disciplined you? Don’t the laws in the Bible apply to you? Do you believe in the Bible and what Jesus says we must do if we sin against other people? Should you still be our elders or our governing body if you break the law and cover this up? Should you brothers be disfellowshipped for breaking the law like when you disfellowship other brothers and sisters when they break the law? Can Jehovah or Jesus use the Watch Tower Society if they know the Society broke the law and are trying to get away with it? Would that make Jehovah and Jesus sharers in the sins of others? It would.
    Does Jehovah like elders that are naughty against children or that don’t try to protect them? Are you still allowed to pray to Jehovah? When we are naughty we have to say sorry first before our prayers to Jehovah are heard.
    You should go to the courthouse and tell them you are “guilty” and did wrong and say sorry to everyone even if it means getting into trouble. You always tell us in The Watchtower magazine that this is what Jehovah says we must do before he will forgive us. You tell us that pride is why people do not apologise. You tell us that real Jehovah’s Witnesses always say sorry.
    Will you please tell us the answers to all our questions and if you will say sorry to us at all for what you have done to us kids? Also, we would like to meet with all of you elders on the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses so you can say sorry to all of us children one at a time. Our parents tell us that this is what Jesus has told you that you must do, say sorry. Our families and us kids would like to meet with all of you at our Traralgon Kingdom Hall before your next criminal court case on February 21, 2012, so you can tell us why you broke the law and to give you the chance to say sorry and make amends. We have a list of how you can make amends.
    - 2 -
    It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.
    We are only children but we will be grown-ups one day and then we will learn everything you did to us.
    Warmest Christian love,
    signed by us kids – the children in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses for all the children in the State of Victoria, Australia, and the World
    P.S. Our parents and families helped us write this letter because this is what Jesus said we must do to those who sin against us. See Matthew 18:15-17. This letter is from us kids because it was us kids that you elders knowingly committed sins and crimes against and then deliberately lied to.
    A MESSAGE FROM THE PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF THE ABOVE CHILDREN
    Dear Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses,
    On July 26, 2011, you men and the Watch Tower Society were charged with a total of 35 serious criminal offences committed against our children because you refused to comply with our state’s child protection laws in the Working with Children Act 2005. Each offence carries up to Au$144,000 in fines and up to two years imprisonment. Your lawlessness in this matter has been going on since July 1, 2008. You have broken the law in every single congregation in Victoria, Australia, thousands of times every single week for over three years – from July 2008 onwards. Everybody warned you of the need to comply with these laws and you refused to listen. You ignored the Department of Justice when they offered to personally help all elders and “ministers of religion” to comply with these child protection laws. Even though the government had waived all fees you refused to comply. Your disregard for these laws became so bad that charges of lawlessness were made in the Christian Congregation against you men. You were charged with “loose conduct involving children” (child abuse). The charges were ignored.
    In November 2011 you issued letters to all elders and congregations in Victoria, Australia, that they must now comply with these laws. This is too little, too late. You complied only after 35 criminal charges were filed against you and then only after you repeatedly failed to have the charges thrown out of court. By refusing to comply with these child protection laws for well over three years you have “taken a stand against the arrangement of God” and the Scriptures say you “will receive judgment.” – Romans 13:1-5
    Jesus made it very clear when he ordered YOU “to see to it that YOU men do not despise one of these little ones.” (Matthew 18:1-10) In his sermon on the mount Jesus also said that we should stop everything, including our service to God, and sort out our problems with others first. (Matthew 5:23-26) As parents and families with children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses we have repeatedly asked you to sort this matter out with us over the past three years and every time you outright refused and ignored us all. Will you now “despise” our children and refuse to say sorry to them?
    Finally, could you please inform us where we can find a copy of the Child Protection Policy that is ‘used’ by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    signed by THE PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE CHILDREN WITHIN THE TRARALGON CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES FOR ALL THE CHILDREN
    [END OF 'OPEN LETTER']
    Documents relating to child abuse within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses can be downloaded from the JW LEAKS web site:
    This includes a copy of the Charge Sheets against the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    RELATED JW NEWS ARTICLES
    .

    Is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses capable of apologizing to the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    JW NEWS OPINION
    www.jwnews.net
    article by Steven Unthank
    January 12, 2012
    Clearly there exists a disturbed relationship between the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is highlighted by the fact that there has been no explanation and no apology forthcoming from the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses nor from the Watch Tower Society for their failure to comply with mandatory child protection laws in the State of Victoria, Australia, for over 3 entire years.
    In the above ‘open letter’ a very powerful question was asked by the children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
    Why have you not said sorry to us kids and why are you hiding what you did wrong to us?
    This was again reiterated in the letter’s conclusion:
    It makes us sad that you have broken the law for a long time and not said sorry but hide what you have done instead. This is not love. If you do say sorry to us kids and mean it then we will forgive you. This is love.
    We are only children but we will be grown-ups one day and then we will learn everything you did to us.
    Courts deal with crime. Religions deal with sin. Clearly these children have approached the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in relation to their alleged “sin” and lawlessness. The ‘sin’ being the failure of the religion to “comply with legal requirements that do not conflict with God’s laws, such as… obtaining required licences and permits” as they apply within the Working with Children laws for “religious organisations”.
    The book “Organized To Do Jehovah’s Will” -the official code of conduct and practice for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses- has this to say on pages 31 to 37 in respect of the individual overseers comprising the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
    The overseers would be individuals who have the courage to speak up when wrongdoing exists and to take the needed action to correct it, protecting the flock from any who would selfishly exploit them. (Isa. 32:2) The overseers would be men recognized by all in the congregation as spiritually mature, having genuine concern for the flock of God. Their overall way of life would show this.
    …Members of the congregation could confidently approach the overseer for counsel and advice on a wide range of personal matters having to do with family life and Christian living. Having conducted themselves properly within the family arrangement as well as within the community in general, these men would also be irreprehensible, be free from accusation, and have a fine testimony even from people on the outside. No valid charge of improper conduct could be brought against them to mar the reputation of the congregation.
    …They would be known in the congregation and in the community as upright and God-fearing men who have demonstrated over a period of time that they conduct their entire life on the basis of God’s principles. Their blamelessness would give them freeness of speech before the congregation.
    …Their oversight of the congregation would be refreshing to the brothers and would serve to unite the congregation in rendering sacred service. Their conduct and the fruits of their labors would give evidence that they are appointed by holy spirit.
    …The overseers of the congregation have both responsibility and accountability in caring for those entrusted to them.
    Among those “entrusted” into the care of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are the children.
    Jesus Christ said of his true followers “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) The Apostle Peter encouraged Christians to “love one another intensely from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) It is this unconditional intense love that children possess. Children love unconditionally and are always willing to forgive. Their young innocent consciences often prod them to forgive or to even say sorry when they do wrong. Occasionally they need some encouragement.
    A conscience either accuses or excuses. It never acquits. A good conscience moves one to take the initiative to apologize to others when they have wronged them, even if unintentionally. On the other hand, a hardened conscience causes one to excuse their actions or to justify their wrong course of conduct, often by blaming others. Either way, the outcome is a clear conscience, genuine or self-deceptive.
    In a written article on apologizing, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society had this to say:
     Why Is It So Hard to Apologize? [*** w02 11/1 p. 4-7***]
    One reason why a person hesitates to apologize may be the fear of rejection. Troubled by the thought of being given the cold shoulder, he may not express how he really feels. Why, the person who was hurt might totally avoid the offender, making reconciliation very difficult.
    A lack of concern for other people’s feelings may be another reason why some hesitate to apologize. They may reason, ‘Apologizing will not undo the blunder I have already made.’ Still others hesitate to say that they are sorry because of the possible consequences. They wonder, ‘Will I be held responsible and be asked to make compensation?’ However, the biggest hurdle to admitting a mistake is pride. A person who is too proud to say “I am sorry” may in essence conclude, ‘I don’t want to lose face by admitting my blunder. That would weaken my position.’
    For whatever reason, many find words of apology hard to utter. But is it really necessary to apologize? What are the benefits of apologizing?
    Apologizing—A Key to Making Peace
    …A person should never be too proud to swallow his pride, apologize, and seek forgiveness. Of course, for sincerely humble individuals, apologies are not so difficult to make.
    …Offering a sincere and appropriate apology for a wrong committed will go a long way toward making peace.
    It is often said that “God does not condemn those who make mistakes but judges only those refusing to rectify them.”
    Will the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses apologize to the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and then seek their forgiveness?
    That all depends on whether their conscience accuses or excuses.
    JW NEWS



    Related JW News Articles

    Jehovah’s Witnesses Church Hierarchy Charged With Criminal Offences
    Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses Assistance from Department of Justice over Child Protection Laws
    Victoria’s Child Protection Inquiry Hears Evidence Against the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society
    Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry” Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society [full transcript]
    Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religions to be investigated by the State over Child Abuse


    For comprehensive information on the Victoria Working with Children laws go to KidsVictoria.org
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    “Unless…” a simple message from JW News

    December 27, 2011

    Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support, emotionally, financially and spiritually during 2011.

    Let’s care enough during 2012 to try that little bit extra to make the world safer for the sake of our children.

    “Unless one person stands up no one can join them.”

    From Steven Unthank and JW News.


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    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 2

    December 18, 2011

    AUSTRALIA: Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 2

    December 18, 2011
    JW NEWS
    article by Steven Unthank
    Victoria Police launch an investigation into the rape and molestation of a number of children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Church elders refuse to help or comfort child rape victims and their families.
    JW NEWS can report that Victoria Police have launched an investigation into the rape and molestation of a number of children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses over the past two years.
    According to initial reports, the body of elders within the church were strictly ordered by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia to cover-up the multiple rapes of a number of children within the Traralgon Congregation allegedly committed by a fellow member of the Jehovah’s Witness religion. The elders were also instructed to NOT report the rapes to the police or the authorities.
    The investigation is expected to widen to include numerous congregations within the Melbourne metropolitan area where the alleged child rapist has had regular unsupervised direct contact with potentially up to one hundred young children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses since the initial rapes were reported within the church. The alleged child rapist remains in “good standing” within the religion and continues to have regular public church meeting parts, despite allegedly confessing to raping and molesting a number of young children within the church, when he was confronted by several members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    The parents of the child rape victims notified their local body of elders in the Traralgon Congregation and sought help and scriptural advice. “All we were seeking was assistance from the elders in coping with the abuse,” stated the father of two of the abused children. “We needed some comfort, maybe a Scripture or two, perhaps a prayer, just something, anything. We desperately needed help and did not know what to do. Growing up in the religion [of Jehovah's Witnesses] we are taught to go to the elders when we have problems. Well, this was a problem, a big problem and we went to the elders. The elders in the Traralgon Congregation did absolutely nothing. They refused to help us. Three times we sort help. Nothing was forthcoming. They would not even tell my children that Jehovah or Jesus or even the congregation did not view them as dirty or unclean or even naughty children because of what happened. It’s not the kids fault that they were raped and the elders need to tell them that.”
    One of the elders in the Traralgon Congregation, Jehovah’s Witness Chaplain Albert Helbling, is alleged to have asked the parents of the molested children to put their concerns and requests in writing. In commenting on this request the father of the children later stated in an interview with JW News, “We were literally being asked to put in writing our request for an elder to pray or share a Scripture with our family. They then wanted everything put in writing but still refused to offer any help. It took me a while to digest what the elders were really asking. So I asked who reads this information and is there a Privacy Policy we can read. If I wrote down what the intimate details of how my children were raped I wanted to know who has access to it. My concerns were met with silence. The elders refused to answer. They just turned their back on us and walked away.”

    Australian headquarters for the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their administrative and publishing corporation the Watch Tower Society
    Jehovah’s Witness church elders in Australia are instructed by church procedures to telephone a church appointed in-house corporate lawyer at the Australian headquarters in New South Wales prior to taking any action in relation to learning that a child member of their congregation has been raped or sexually abused. Elders are required to strictly follow the advice of internal church lawyers for the handling of the child molestation case. In this situation, as the actions of the elders in the Traralgon Congregation clearly show, the advice was to deliberately withhold help and assistance from those children that were raped and molested within the church and to decline to offer counselling and religious support to the parents.
    “They just walked away from us. The shepherds refused to shepherd the flock. Instead they engaged a lawyer, Vincent Toole, to protect themselves and then followed his instructions,” stated one of the parents. This serious allegation is compounded by the fact that the alleged child molester is the son of a senior Jehovah’s Witness elder who is part of the Watch Tower Society’s legal team in Australia.
    This course of action is in direct contrast with what the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses claim is what happens in matters involving child abuse within the church. Philip Brumley, General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses, on behalf of the Governing Body claims that:
    “Our top priority is to protect the victim. And we want to make sure that whatever steps need to be taken are taken, both by the elders, by the relatives, and by the congregation in general. Our second priority has to do with the perpetrator. We are concerned about their receiving the help they need. Our third priority is to see that the secular authorities are indeed informed of the accusation.”

    Philip Brumley, General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Download official Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Response on Inquiries on Child Abuse.
    “This Jehovah’s Witness response [from Philip Brumley] to their handling of child abuse is all lies,” according to one of the grandparents of the molested children within the Traralgon Congregation.  The grandparent then added, “the Jehovah’s Witnesses outright refused to protect the victims. The elders in the Traralgon church did nothing. The parents of the molested children were too scared to speak up and no relatives of the abused children were notified as a result of this. I know this for a fact as none of them told me. The church elders and the Watchtower organisation did not see to it that the secular authorities were informed. I was never told because my family were too embarrassed that their church abandoned the kids and protected the [alleged] child rapist and the position of his father who is a senior church leader. The Jehovah’s Witnesses should pull their act together and actually start practicing what they preach.”
    The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their administrative corporation, the Watch Tower Society, are the only mainstream church and religious organisation in the State of Victoria that has no formal child protection policy and no published code of conduct for ministers of religion and appointed elders in relation to direct contact with children within their church congregation arrangements. Parents within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been met with silence by church officials when they have asked to see the churches formal child protection policy or working with children protocol.

    Morwell Police Station, Victoria, Australia
    The alleged rapes of a number of children within the Traralgon Congregation were reported at the Morwell Police Station in August 2011 by Acting Prosecutor Steven Unthank who discovered the rape allegations while criminally prosecuting the entire religious and corporate hierarchy of the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, over their refusal to comply with mandatory child protection laws as legislated in the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005.
    The handling of this ‘child sexual abuse’ case within the Traralgon Congregation by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses is now considered Solicitor-Client Privilege (Attorney-Client Privilege), in that everyone is now a client or defacto client of the Watch Tower Society’s in-house law firm Vincent Toole Solicitors—including the child abuser—and are thereby protected. Procedures put in place by the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses allows the Watch Tower Society to vigorously defend this claim of “Privilege” as their right even if it requires their appealing to the laws of the State of Victoria. By contrast there is no record that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have ever vigorously fought for the protection and rights any children within the religion who have been abused or molested by a fellow church member.
    This Solicitor-Client Privilege (Attorney-Client Privilege) status does not apply to the young Jehovah’s Witness children that were sexually abused and nor does it apply to their parents as these have been abandoned and rejected by the church even though they are current active members. This is compounded in that one of the parents of the molested children was informed by the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses that “having approached the elders, you will have taken the matter as far as you can. Leave the problem in their hands.”
    Almost immediately after the alleged rapes were reported within the church format, the alleged child rapist, along with members of his family were relocated by the headquarters of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to “serve” in another church congregation located within the Skye Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the southern suburbs of Melbourne. The alleged child rapist was formally introduced into the new congregation by a letter issued from the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia and publicly read out from the church podium praising both the alleged child rapist and his family by referring to them as well respected members of the Faith who have volunteered to “serve where the need is greater.” The father of the alleged child rapist was immediately appointed a member of the body of elders in the new congregation. Members of the congregation have not been notified that they have an alleged child rapist within their congregation who bears a letter of recommendation from the headquarters of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their administrative arm, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses church – McClelland Drive, Skye, Victoria, Australia. Used by five different congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    On May 4, 2011, JW News carried a report on an act of religiously motivated persecution carried out against Steven Unthank by a senior Jehovah’s Witness church elder. This elder turned out be the father of the alleged child molester. The full story as reported in JW News stated:
    WATCH TOWER SOCIETY LAUNCHES RELIGIOUS ATTACK ON STEVEN UNTHANK
    A vicious personal attack and campaign of religious persecution has been launched by the Watch Tower Society in Australia against Mr Steven Unthank in retaliation for his lodging of Criminal Charges against the Watch Tower Society and the Committee of Management for the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court for alleged criminal offences committed against the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005, as it applies within “religious organisations”.
    A Watch Tower Society legal officer and senior Jehovah’s Witness church Elder recently contacted a Gippsland-based construction company whom Mr Unthank has worked for over many years, and ordered the owner, a Jehovah’s Witness, that he ”must not employ Steven on any jobs and if he’s still working for you then this is wrong. You have to get rid of him for what he’s done.”
    It is alleged that the Watch Tower Society legal officer then proceeded to religiously vilify and severely ridicule Mr Unthank to the owner of the construction company.
    In commenting on the launch of this attack and the alleged accompanied religious vilification and ridicule, Mr Unthank said ”We have very strong laws in the State of Victoria that prohibit racial and religious vilification. These laws are to protect everybody, including myself and members of the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It saddens me that there are people in society, in respectable community positions, that feel the need to religiously vilify and persecute another. I do not believe the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses would support such an attack.”
    Mr Unthank refused to comment on whether he has been sacked or had his work contract terminated but did reply ”there are a number of options open to me, including a civil lawsuit or the lodging of a formal complaint with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for investigation. However, a simple apology would suffice.”
    Link to JW News report: http://on.fb.me/nDCs4J
    On July 26, 2011, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc. were charged with a total of 35 criminal offences in relation to allegations of literally being an accessory to criminal activities being committed against children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses by the entire body of elders against some 20 children. Currently these elders are being actively protected by the Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. None have stood down and none have been removed even though their alleged criminal acts against children and their outright lawlessness are well known within the community. Simply put, the body of elders in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not recognised by the local community as “upright and God-fearing men” who are “free from accusation.”
    The next criminal court hearing is scheduled for February 21, 2012.
    The Watch Tower Society refuses to speak to the parents within the Traralgon congregation and refuses to answer their legitimate questions, even though their children have been identified as victims of crime. The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses remains silent over these child abuse allegations, child rape allegations and criminal charges.
    The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has repeatedly refused to answer to the “valid” criminal charges brought against them within the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia.
    Truly a religion in crisis.
    Postscript from Steven Unthank
    For taking a stand on behalf of the children within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, to protect them, last year a four-year-old child came skipping up to me and whispered:
    “Daddy says I’m not allowed to talk to you ’cause you don’t love ‘hovah!”
    She then gave me a big hug and skipped away. She knew I did love Him.
    A week later she gave a member of my family a picture she drew at pre-school and asked that it be given to me. She also said to tell me that it was:
    “the sun to make you happy.”
    I did not know it at the time, but this young child was one of the children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses that had been raped only the week before.

     

    Related JW News Articles

    Victoria’s Child Protection Inquiry Hears Evidence Against the Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society
    Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry” Re: Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society [full transcript]
    Religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses Refuses Assistance from Department of Justice over Child Protection Laws
    Jehovah’s Witnesses Church Hierarchy Charged With Criminal Offences
    For comprehensive information on the Victoria Working with Children laws go to KidsVictoria.org
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    Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 1

    December 11, 2011

    AUSTRALIA: Crisis of Conscience within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses? – Part 1

    December 11, 2011 – the full story
    JW News
    Religion in crisis. Can it get any worse in Australia for the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society?
    According to members of the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the police turned up during the Theocratic Ministry School meeting at the Traralgon Kingdom Hall on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, and spoke with the body of elders who quickly escorted them into a back room.
    Further, during the same week, the police took a number of “Statements” from parents and members of the Traralgon Congregation in relation to the body of elders actually working with children and having “direct contact” with children allegedly in breach of the Working with Children Act 2005.
    The police are now investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Working with Children laws committed by individual members of the body of elders in Traralgon Congregation in relation to 8 different children within the congregation. The investigation is expected to widen.
    This more than likely is what the Office of Public Prosecutions was referring to in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria on December 6, 2011, when they stated that the police investigation is “quite well progressed” in relation to the criminal prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society et al.
    Also on Sunday, December 4, 2011, the Traralgon body of elders deliberately cancelled a public Bible reading which was to be done by a young 10 year old child within the Traralgon Congregation during the Theocratic Ministry School scheduled for the 6th, after the court cases. The child is very upset and has asked if he is being punished. Those aware of the situation have never heard of any congregational body of elders taking away a Bible reading from a young child.
    The church weekly meeting schedule sign outside the Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses has also been pulled down and removed from public display following a personal visit in November by an authorised representative of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who met with the body of elders in the Traralgon Congregation.
    Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses
    (note the meeting time sign in red circle)
    In addition, parents within the Traralgon Congregation have openly expressed concern that they may be victimised or targeted by the Watch Tower Society simply because they lawfully provided information to the police when they were contacted by the police while investigating criminal breaches of the Working with Children laws allegedly committed by the body of elders in the Traralgon Congregation.
    Individual offences against the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005 carry up to 2 years imprisonment per “an offence.” Compliance with the Working with Children laws became compulsory for “religious organisations” and for ministers of religion in July 2008.
    The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and their administrative corporation, the Watch Tower Society, are the only mainstream church and religious organisation in the State of Victoria that has no formal child protection policy and no published code of conduct for ministers of religion and appointed elders in relation to direct contact with children within their church congregation arrangements. Parents within the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses have been met with silence by church officials when they have asked to see the churches formal child protection policy or working with children protocol.
    The State of Victoria officially recognises that while “some organisations undertake a number of measures to check the appropriateness of their employees or volunteers to work with children, others do not.” It is for this reason the Victorian Government introduced, in 2006, a mandatory minimum child protection standard for all industries and organisations, including “religious organisations.”
    According to the Victorian Department of Justice web site:
    “In 2006, the Victorian Government introduced the Working with Children (WWC) Check, a new mandatory minimum checking system to help protect children under 18 years of age from physical or sexual harm by preventing those who pose a risk to their safety from working with them, in either paid or volunteer work.
    “This Working with Children Check system helps to protect children from sexual or physical harm by checking and monitoring a person’s criminal history for serious sexual, serious violence or serious drug offences.”
    The Parliament of Victoria have stated that the main purpose of the Working with Children laws “is to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them have their suitability to do so checked by a government body.”
    “Religious organisations” were included in the Working with Children Check system in July 2008.
    For further information on the Victorian Working with Children laws and any legal obligations visit:
    www.KidsVictoria.org

    Would the Watch Tower Society deny the existence of the Theocratic Ministry School?

    The sign outside the Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses publicly advertised that the Jehovah’s Witnesses operate a school on the premises by publishing the hours their Theocratic Ministry School is operated, namely each Tuesday night. The Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses, when contacted by the Victorian Department of Justice and by Victoria Police, and even by the media in Victoria, have outright denied that they operate any church-based schools with enrolled children or that they work with children.
    Further, the sign outside the Traralgon Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses had printed in bold letters “All Welcome” of which is an open public invitation specifically directed at non-members of the religion, including men, women and children. The presence of this sign is irrefutable proof that there is indeed a church-based school being operated within the Traralgon Congregation, and such a sign can be read by any member of the public or even the police if they pull up out the front of the hall.
    Therefore the sign had to be removed as the existence of this sign provides public proof that the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses do indeed operate a church-based school and that all members of the public, including children, can freely attend. The Watchtower publication, “Mankind’s Search for God” on page 360 states:
    “Jehovah’s Witnesses hold weekly Bible study meetings in their Kingdom Halls that serve over [100,000] congregations throughout the earth. These meetings are not based on ritual or on emotion but on the gaining of accurate knowledge of God, his Word, and his purpose. Therefore, Jehovah’s Witnesses come together three times a week to increase their understanding of the Bible and to learn how to preach and teach its message to others.
    “For example, a midweek meeting includes the Theocratic Ministry School, in which members of the congregation may be enrolled. This school, presided over by a qualified Christian elder, serves to train men, women, and children in the art of teaching and self-expression in accordance with Bible principles.”
    Parents attending the school with their children are attending on the same level, i.e. as students. The elder conducting the school is not a student but is the schools appointed instructor and teacher.
    Across the entire State of Victoria, these church-based Theocratic Ministry Schools are conducted on a weekly basis in over 150 church auditoriums and “Auxiliary Classes” commonly referred to as “Second Schools”. The enrolled students include well over 1,000 children between the ages of 7 and 18 in these school classes which are presided over by a qualified Christian elder who “serves to train men, women, and children in the art of teaching and self expression.” The curriculum is prepared and provided by the “faithful and discreet slave” and the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watch Tower Society.
    The published “Guidelines for School Overseers” (see pages 282-285 of the textbook “Benefit From Theocratic Ministry School Education”) also includes specific instructions to elders on teaching, assisting, or counseling young children or even a young one by showing personal interest in the progress of each student. Each enrolled child is given a personal school textbook which on pages 79-81 has a personal “Counsel Form” of which is filled out by school “counselor”, namely the elder conducting the school. The guidelines for the School Overseer states that they must “keep an up-to-date list of all who are enrolled in the school” which includes all enrolled children.
    The published “Features of the School” (page 6 of the textbook) are:
    “A weekly program of reading, study, and research centered on the Bible; Instruction in public reading and in the arts of speaking and teaching; Participation in class discussions; Opportunities to give presentations before the congregation; [and] Personal assistance to help you progress.”
    Of those enrolled “both young and old” that attend the Theocratic Ministry School, the Watch Tower Society advices that “you do not have to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.” There are 8 young children enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and another 12 children regularly attend, some with a parent, others without a parent.
    On July 26, 2011, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc. were charged with a total of 35 criminal offences in relation to allegations of literally being an accessory to criminal activities being committed against children within the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses by the entire body of elders against these 20 children. Currently these elders are being actively protected by the Watch Tower Society and the religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses. None have stood down and none have been removed even though their alleged criminal acts against children and their outright lawlessness are well known within the community. Simply put, the body of elders in the Traralgon Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not recognised by the local community as “upright and God-fearing men” who are “free from accusation.”
    The next criminal court hearing is scheduled for February 21, 2012.
    The Watch Tower Society refuses to speak to the parents within the Traralgon Congregation and refuses to answer their legitimate questions, even though their children have been identified as victims of crime. The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses remains silent over these child abuse allegations and criminal charges.
    The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has repeatedly refused to answer to the “valid” criminal charges brought against them within the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, Australia.
    Truly a religion in crisis.
    JW NEWS
    h1

    Court Hearing Results

    December 6, 2011 The results of the fourth round of court hearings held on 06 December 2011, in relation to the criminal prosecution of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses et al, are as follows:
    Mr. Steven Unthank remains the Acting Prosecutor and all 5 cases and 35 individual criminal charges are still before the courts. The Crown informed the court that the Office of Public Prosecutions are “acting as a facilitator at the moment”; that the police investigation is “quite well progressed”; and that the police are awaiting response from the Department of Justice.
    The Magistrate acknowledged “the complexity of the case.”
    At the request of the Office of Public Prosecutions all 5 cases were adjourned until 21 February 2012.
    Link to Magistrates’ Court of Victoria official Criminal Trial Listings for February 21, 2012: http://bit.ly/vyARdD
    Click below image to enlarge:

    COURT HEARING SUMMARY

    December 6, 2011
    Case Number: B12083527
    Acting Prosecutor: Mr Steven Unthank
    Accused: GOVERNING BODY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    The accused again failed to appear and was not represented by legal counsel.
    An application was made by the Crown (the Director of Public Prosecutions) for an adjournment for ten weeks so that Victoria Police could finalize their current investigation and receive further information from the Department of Justice.
    Results: The case was adjourned for ten weeks.
    Next Court hearing date: 21 February 2012
    Hearing Type: Mention
    .
    Case Number: B12083108
    Acting Prosecutor: Mr Steven Unthank
    Accused: CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
    The accused again failed to appear and was not represented by legal counsel.
    An application was made by the Crown (the Director of Public Prosecutions) for an adjournment for ten weeks so that Victoria Police could finalize their current investigation and receive further information from the Department of Justice.
    Results: The case was adjourned for ten weeks.
    Next Court hearing date: 21 February 2012
    Hearing Type: Mention
    Hearing Type: Mention
    .
    Case Number: B12083367
    Acting Prosecutor: Mr Steven Unthank
    Accused: FAITHFUL AND DISCREET SLAVE
    The accused again failed to appear and was not represented by legal counsel.
    An application was made by the Crown (the Director of Public Prosecutions) for an adjournment for ten weeks so that Victoria Police could finalize their current investigation and receive further information from the Department of Justice.
    Results: The case was adjourned for ten weeks.
    Next Court hearing date: 21 February 2012
    Hearing Type: Mention
    .
    Case Number: B12082206
    Acting Prosecutor: Mr Steven Unthank
    Accused: WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA
    The accused was represented by Vincent Toole Solicitors. No legal arguments for the accused was presented.
    An application was made by the Crown (the Director of Public Prosecutions) for an adjournment for ten weeks so that Victoria Police could finalize their current investigation and receive further information from the Department of Justice.
    Results: The case was adjourned for ten weeks.
    Next Court hearing date: 21 February 2012
    Hearing Type: Mention
    .
    Case Number: B12083833
    Acting Prosecutor: Mr Steven Unthank
    Accused: WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC.
    The accused again failed to appear and was not represented by legal counsel.
    An application was made by the Crown (the Director of Public Prosecutions) for an adjournment for ten weeks so that Victoria Police could finalize their current investigation and receive further information from the Department of Justice.
    Results: The case was adjourned for ten weeks.
    Next Court hearing date: 21 February 2012
    Hearing Type: Mention

    FOOTNOTES:

    Mention – a mention hearing is an administrative hearing of a case to allow a magistrate to follow the progress of the proceeding.
JW Survey

“New light” Watchtower magazine leaked from organization weeks ahead of general release
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The July 15 2013 Watchtower, which has been leaked weeks in advance of its scheduled release, offers more questions than answers regarding the Governing Body’s “new light”
Three weeks ahead of its expected release date in mid-April, a scanned copy of the July 15 2013 “Study Edition” of the Watchtower was leaked to the office of JWsurvey by a conscientious active Witness within the organization. I have spent the last two days analyzing its contents.
The magazine in question details the “new light” unveiled at the October 5th 2012 Annual Meeting, at which it was announced that the Governing Body is now considered the “faithful and discreet slave” – the spiritual overlords of the nearly 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide.
By the time the magazine is finally released, ordinary Witnesses will have waited six months since the Annual Meeting for a written explanation of the new understanding. However, such ones will be disappointed to discover that this key Watchtower (which Bethelites have been instructed by their superiors to study in detail) offers more questions than answers. As many expected, the magazine writers give explanations for key doctrinal understandings that are unsupported and speculative at best.
Here follows a brief overview of the four main study articles…
  • Tell Us, When Will These Things Be? (September 2-8) – This article first whets the appetite of the reader by discussing bible prophecy related to the “Great Tribulation,” which will commence with an attack on religion by the “disgusting thing” (the United Nations) and climax with Armageddon. The article then provides a re-cap of the understanding, held since 1995, that the separation of the sheep and the goats will happen during the Great Tribulation. The writers expand on this to provide “new light” on Christ’s “arrival” as bridegroom. Whereas this was once thought to have occurred in 1918, the arrival of Christ as “master” or “bridegroom” is now scheduled to happen at some point during the Great Tribulation.
  • Look! I Am With You All the Days (September 9-15) – Christ’s parable of the “wheat and the weeds” is applied directly to the long period between 33 CE and Armageddon. The separating work is said to have commenced in 1914, when Christ undertook a period of “inspection and cleansing” of the organization that lasted until 1919, when the Bible Students were approved as being “true Christian wheat.”
  • Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few (September 16-22) – Christ’s miracle of the loaves and fishes is held aloft as a foregleam of his intentions to appoint only a small group of men over the spiritual feeding work. The article discusses the “apostles and older men” as being forerunners to the Governing Body arrangement. Russell and his associates (pre-1914) are precluded from representing the appointed channel through which Christ would feed his sheep.
  • “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” (September 23-29) – The article begins by sweeping aside the previous understanding that the faithful slave was appointed in 33 CE, and goes on to explain how the words of the “prophecy” began to be fulfilled only after 1914. The faithful slave is identified specifically as being “a small group of anointed brothers” currently comprising the Governing Body as a “composite slave.” The article concludes by boldly insisting that Christ WILL appoint the Governing Body, along with other anointed Christians, “over all his belongings” when he comes in judgment during the Great Tribulation.
The “disgusting” United Nations – a former partner
The UN has come under fire from Watchtower publications repeatedly over the decades, but rarely has the denunciation been so forthright as in this latest magazine. On page 4 in the first study article, Witnesses are reminded that the United Nations, which is declared to be the modern-day “disgusting thing,” WILL attack Christendom and the rest of “false religion” to signal the outbreak of the Great Tribulation.
Witnesses will be familiar with Watchtower labelling the UN as the “disgusting thing” of Matthew 24:15, but rarely has the assertion been made with such forthrightness that the UN (and not merely its “members”) will be solely responsible for an attack on all religion. Over the last few decades, Watchtower publications have described the UN’s involvement as executioner of false religion in a variety of ways, some more obscure than others…
Question: Who will destroy Babylon The Great?
Answer…
  • 1975 – “the United Nations” (w75 5/1 pp. 274-275 par. 11)
  • 1976 – “beastlike radical powers from within the United Nations” (gh chap. 16 p. 147 par. 12)
  • 1977 – “The members of the U.N. and other nations not members of it…” (go chap. 11 p. 177 par. 7)
  • 1980 – “the political backers of the United Nations” (w80 7/1 p. 17 par. 23)
  • 1982 – “The ‘ten horns’ of the United Nations ‘beast’” (w82 5/1 p. 18 par. 9)
  • 1985 – “political elements, represented in the United Nations” (g85 4/8 p. 13)
  • 1985 – “antireligious elements within the United Nations” (w85 6/15 p. 18 par. 19)
  • 1987 – “The ten horns [governmental powers within the United Nations organization] that you saw, and the wild beast [United Nations]…” (w87 11/1 p. 28)
  • 1988 – “the nations will use the scarlet-colored wild beast, the United Nations…” (re chap. 35 p. 258 par. 21)
  • 1989 – “the political powers associated with the United Nations” (w89 5/15 p. 6)
  • 1993 – “political elements, including the United Nations” (g93 1/8 p. 12)
  • 1994 – “militarized members of the United Nations” (w94 3/1 p. 20 par. 11)
  • 1994 – “members of the United Nations” (w94 11/1 p. 17 par. 5)
  • 1997 – “the United Nations… will have a principal role” (w97 9/15 p. 19 par. 14)
  • 2005 – “militarized powers within the United Nations” (w05 9/15 p. 19 par. 13)
  • 2013 – “the United Nations” (w13 7/15 p.4 par. 6)
And so the declaration last heard with such conviction in the 70s and 80s is now voiced again in 2013 – namely that the United Nations organization directly (and not necessarily its “members”) WILL attack and destroy false religion.

The Watchtower has once again labelled the UN a “disgusting thing” despite being affiliated with it for nine years as an NGO
This should raise eyebrows among personnel within the UN, whose own Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the “freedom of religion” – a fact noted by the Society in past publications. (g86 10/22 p. 31)
It will also be a source of unending bewilderment to those within the Ex-JW community that Watchtower continues to slam the UN as being a “disgusting thing” despite having enjoyed a formal relationship with it as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) between 1992 and 2001. Watchtower only ended its illicit association when it received unwanted exposure from the UK’s Guardian newspaper. (For more information, click here.)
This latest brief foray into attacking the United Nations in the first few pages of the July magazine sets the stage for what is to follow, as the reader is dragged deeper into the murky madness of the doctrinal maze that Watchtower has created, along with its heavily revised organizational history.
An overview of the changes
Before I begin my rundown of the “new light” regarding the faithful slave, I feel it’s important to avoid potential confusion by clarifying elements of the verse in Matthew 24:45-47 and summarizing what the Society claims to be its fulfilment. Here is what the scripture in question says in the New World Translation:
“Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time? Happy is that slave if his master on arriving finds him doing so. Truly I say to YOU, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”
As you can see, the above verse effectively has two elements to it. First, Christ appoints his faithful slave to watch over his “domestics.” Then, only later, does Christ “arrive” and appoint the slave over all his “belongings.” Clearly, both of these things cannot happen at the same time. One part of the verse is described in the present tense, and the other in the future tense. Therefore, a period of time is implied between these two events. The question, at least as far as Watchtower is concerned, is “when was this time period?”
In an effort to make all of this as simple as possible, I have produced the following table. It shows the new understanding of the “faithful slave” teaching side-by-side with the old one. Feel free to refer to it when reading this article if things get a little too complicated to take in.

Please bear in mind that if you are expecting explanations in this article that do not appear, this is not my fault. Any such frustration should be directed at the Watchtower writers, who have ignored a number of key questions arising from this “new light.” I will do my best to highlight all pertinent parts of the Watchtower that I feel are of interest using selected quotes. However, for reasons of copyright and personal trust, I cannot and will not reproduce the entire article. Readers are reminded that the full article will be available online in PDF format on (or around) April 15th.
Christ’s “arrival” in 1918 scrapped
It has long been proclaimed by the Society that the references to Christ’s “arriving” as “master” and “bridegroom” in Matthew 24 and 25 occurred in 1918 when he came to inspect his faithful and discreet slave. It was said that the following year, 1919, Christ completed his inspection and decided to appoint the early Bible Students as his faithful slave over all of this belongings.
Under this new understanding, however, 1914 is now earmarked as being the year that Christ began to inspect and cleanse the organization – with this “inspection period” ending in 1919 when Christ supposedly approved the directors of the Watch Tower Society as his faithful slave by appointing them over his domestics.
1918 has therefore fallen by the wayside and lost any real significance – at least as far as the “end time” prophecies in Matthew are concerned. This is made clear on pages 7 and 8 of the new magazine, where we are informed that all eight references to Christ’s “coming” or “arrival” between Matthew 24:29 and the end of chapter 25 refer to the “future time of judgment during the great tribulation.”
An eventful “inspection and cleansing” period
In the minds of many, one of the most intriguing aspects of this new understanding is the fact that Charles Taze Russell, once considered part of the Slave Class, has been effectively written out of having any real biblical significance in Witness history. This is confirmed on page 19, where it says:
“Were the Bible Students in the years that lead up to 1914 the appointed channel through which Christ would feed his sheep? No. They were still in the growing season, and the arrangement for a channel to provide spiritual food was taking shape. The time had not yet come for the weedlike imitation Christians to be separated from the true Christian wheat.” (w13 7/15 p.19)
Christ’s parable of the wheat and weeds (Matt 13:24-30, 37-43) forms the basis of the second study article, entitled “Look! I Am With You All the Days,” and is referenced throughout the magazine, as above. The scripture and its “fulfilment” is explained by means of an illustrative timeline that stretches from pages 10 to 11. Key elements of the timeline are as follows:
  • 33CE – Sowing begins
  • Sower: Jesus
  • Fine seed is sown: Anointing with holy spirit
  • The field: The world of mankind
  • Enemy: The devil
  • Men were sleeping: death of the apostles
  • Wheat: Anointed Christians
  • Weeds: Imitation Christians
  • 1914 – Harvest begins
  • Slaves/reapers: Angels
  • Weedlike Christians are separated from the anointed “sons of the kingdom”
  • 1919 – Gathering into the storehouse, Anointed Christians are gathered into the restored congregation
  • Shining brightly: Shortly before Armageddon, the remaining faithful anointed ones are gathered to the heavens
  • Armageddon: At Armageddon, the weeds are pitched into the fire
It seems the Society is using the wheat and the weeds parable in this magazine as a useful replacement to fill the vacuum left by the previous understanding of the faithful slave “prophecy.” The illustration has been drafted in to build a makeshift scriptural bridge between the organization’s history and the outset of the Christian congregation in 33CE.
Another scripture that is referenced is Malachi 3:1-4, already associated in the minds of Witnesses as discussing Christ’s visit to his “spiritual temple” at the end of the First World War. The second study article adjusts this understanding by explaining that Christ visited the organization (invisibly, of course) in 1914 after the weeds (imitation Christians) had been allowed to grow for centuries among the wheat (anointed Christians). So, what position, if any, did Russell occupy when Christ visited in 1914?
“During the decades leading up to 1914, C. T. Russell and his close associates did a work like that of John the Baptizer. That vital work involved restoring Bible truths. The Bible Students taught the true meaning of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, exposed the hellfire lie, and proclaimed the coming end of the Gentile Times.” (w13 7/15 p.11)

Having been stripped of any meaningful role in God’s purpose, C.T. Russell has received the consolation of being likened to John the Baptizer
Thus, Russell is awarded the peculiar role of “John the Baptizer” in Watchtower’s new convoluted melodrama – forging the path ahead of Christ’s inspection of the organization in 1914. However, Russell and his early organization is stripped of having any meaningful role in God’s purpose. One is left wondering, if Russell’s death in 1916 happened during the “cleansing” period, does this mean that his demise was all part of God’s plan?! Regardless, only after the 1914-1919 “inspection and cleansing period” was the organization recognized as God’s organized channel, as explained on page 19…
“From 1914 to the early part of 1919, Jesus accompanied his Father to the spiritual temple to do a much-needed inspection and cleansing work. (Mal. 3:1-4) Then, starting in 1919, it was time to begin gathering the wheat. Was it finally the time for Christ to appoint one organized channel to dispense spiritual food? Yes, indeed!” (w13 7/15 p.19)
The tumultuous period in the organization’s history between 1914 and 1919 thus becomes the focus of doctrine perhaps more than ever before. There is no longer a “seamless” transition from the time of the apostles through to today. Prior to 1914, there was NO “organized channel” on the Earth. By 1919, one had been suddenly and miraculously formed – by none other than Christ himself.
A Questionable Character
There is just one small problem with hanging so much doctrinally on this murky period in Watchtower’s history. The more we delve into historical documents, the more we realise that Watchtower cannot be proud of its activities during that time – not to mention the literature that was produced. To compensate for this, the Society must reach for its eraser and smudge out some of the less savoury details of its past. This it does with reckless abandon on page 12…
“In late 1914, some Bible Students were disheartened because they had not gone to heaven. During 1915 and 1916, opposition from outside the organization slowed down the preaching work. Worse, after Russell’s death in October 1916, opposition arose from inside the organization. Four of the seven directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society rebelled against the decision to have Brother Rutherford take the lead. They tried to cause division among the brothers, but in August 1917, they left bethel – a cleansing indeed! Also, some Bible Students gave in to fear of man. Still, as a whole they willingly responded to Jesus’ cleansing work and made the needed changes. Hence, Jesus judged them to be true Christian wheat, but he rejected all imitation Christians, including all those found within the churches of Christendom. (Mal. 3:5; 2 Tim. 2:19)” (w13 7/15 p.12 par.8)
To those who are even remotely familiar with organizational events between 1914 and 1919, the above depiction of the Society’s exploits during that period is flattering at best and heavily revisionist at worst. For example, there is more to the story of the “four directors” than is told above. Note the following words from page 9 of the booklet “Light After Darkness” published by opponents of Brother Rutherford in September 1917…

The account of the four directors concerning their ousting from Bethel in 1917, from page 9 of the booklet “Light After Darkness”
As you can see, simply saying that the four directors left bethel does not tell the full story of what happened. The directors were threatened with forcible ejection by Rutherford, and finally left after it was negotiated for them to receive $300 dollars each rather than be turned out onto the street without a dime to their name. What crime had led to four directors of the Watch Tower Society being treated in this way? They had dared to object to Rutherford effectively tearing up C.T. Russell’s will, which stipulated that power should be shared evenly between Watchtower’s board of directors.
In a spectacular grab for power following Russell’s death in late 1916, Rutherford used his legal knowledge to enact bylaws in early 1917 that would give him total control over the Society, and render the role of Society director all but meaningless. This was what the “four directors” spoke out against, and they were effectively evicted from their home, Brooklyn Bethel, for their troubles. You can read more about what really happened during those dark days in the above-quoted booklet “Light After Darkness,” which is available in PDF form by clicking here.
Rud Persson is a Swedish Watchtower historian who has copiously analyzed all available documents from this very episode in the organization’s history, and is compiling a book to summarize his research. I approached him by email with the above paragraph from this new Watchtower, and he made this comment…
“It is certainly true that four Directors opposed ‘the decision to have Brother Rutherford take the lead.’ They should do that, for it meant a complete departure from the way Russell, the then recognized ‘faithful and wise servant’, had arranged for matters after his death. It is not true that they ‘tried to cause division among the brothers’. That was not their purpose which was to rectify what was wrong. If spreading information was necessary to do this, then of course they felt that wisdom from above is first of all clean, thereafter peaceful. It was Rutherford with the aid of his yes-men who went public first, publicly blackening the four Directors and then Paul S.L. Johnson. It is true that the four directors left Bethel in August 1917, on August 8 to be specific, but that was not the end of the story.” – Rud Persson
I for one cannot wait for Rud’s book to come out, because I am sure it will shed much light on these events, and further undermine Watchtower’s astonishingly misplaced trust and confidence in the character of “Judge” Rutherford, not to mention this highly questionable and well-documented period in the organization’s early history.

Documented evidence shows Rutherford to have been a ruthless bigoted bully rather than a clean-cut figurehead for the fledgling Watch Tower Society
As previously mentioned on this website, during his presidency Rutherford distinguished himself as a bully and a tyrant. He allowed an atmosphere of alcoholism to permeate Bethel, and used abusive and demeaning language to intimidate and belittle any who fell short of his standards. He also lived in luxury at a time of national austerity, while many of his co-workers at Bethel lived in squalid conditions.
All of this was documented during the Olin Moyle libel lawsuit in the early 1940s, which Rutherford lost. A copy of Moyle’s resignation letter which sparked the lawsuit is available to read on this link. It gives an astonishing glimpse into what life was like in Bethel under Rutherford’s presidency, and casts serious doubt over whether Christ could really have supported such a man as custodian over his organization.
It may be that you, the reader, are so determined to think of Rutherford as a good man that you will not accept information unless it is within the Society’s own literature – even if it is documented information from a lawsuit. If that is the case, I would urge you to read my article on racism in Watchtower literature during both Russell and Rutherford’s presidency. Some of the bigoted statements made by Rutherford and his writers in the Society’s own publications defy belief, and should leave you beyond any doubt of Rutherford’s questionable character.
Despite all this, the Watch Tower Society of the 21st Century insists on ascribing Rutherford with a prominent role in the fulfilment of bible prophecy – one of the very first members of the faithful and discreet slave! Even so, it is perhaps noteworthy that Rutherford’s name is only mentioned once in all of the four study articles – and that is in the quote reproduced above. I feel this may be telling. Watchtower wants you, the reader, to focus on the date, 1919, rather than the bigoted bully behind it.
A tenuous link
Witnesses will be familiar with the Governing Body‘s constant attempts to draw parallels between themselves and Christ’s First Century apostles. The third study article, “Feeding Many Through the Hands of a Few” represents yet another example of this.

The magazine suggests that Christ’s miraculous feeding of the five thousand supports the Governing Body arrangement
The opening paragraphs remind the reader of Christ’s miracle where he fed the five thousand using just a few loaves and fishes, with his disciples distributing the miraculously produced food. (Matt 14:14-21) The writer then expands on this by explaining that spiritual feeding was of more importance to Christ than providing physical food, and it was for this reason that Christ chose his apostles.
We are then reminded in paragraph 9 of an incident in the book of Acts where a physical food shortage arose among the early Christians. The apostles sprung into action to appoint responsible brothers to ensure that food was being distributed evenly. So far the reader is thinking “Yes, but these were Christ’s apostles. There is no mention in Acts of a Governing Body.” But it doesn’t take long (paragraph 10, in fact) for the writer to make the connection…
“By 49 CE, the surviving apostles had been joined by certain other qualified elders. (Read Acts 15:1,2.) ‘The apostles and older men in Jerusalem’ served as a governing body. As the Head of the congregation, Christ used this small group of qualified men to settle doctrinal issues and to oversee and direct the preaching and teaching of the Kingdom good news.-Acts 15:6-29; 21:17-19; Col. 1:18.” (w13 7/15 p.17)
The above statement makes an unfounded assumption. It implies that, once the circumcision issue arose, the apostles were permanently “joined” by the “older men” in the making of any and all subsequent decisions related to the early congregation. There is absolutely no evidence of this. In the entire Bible, the phrase “apostles and older men” appears only six times – and all six times are in chapters 15 and 16 of Acts. It therefore seems that the involvement of the “older men” in this matter was a one-off “ad hoc” event that was borne from necessity and the uniqueness of the situation. To suggest that the apostles were unable to reach decisions without the older men from that point onwards is making an assertion that simply isn’t contained in the scriptures.

Once again the Governing Body holds aloft the account of the “apostles and older men” in Acts 15 and 16 as their mandate to rule unopposed
The next paragraph goes on to imply that, from this point onwards, the Apostle Paul was tasked with carrying out the orders of this newly formed “governing body.” It cites Acts 16:4,5 where Paul is described as delivering “for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem.”
Only when the reader looks up the scripture and notes its proximity to the circumcision issue in the previous chapter does he realise that, rather than being a permanent arrangement, Paul was merely passing on the instructions related to this particular matter. But the way the Society quotes the scriptures suggests to the reader that this was an ongoing permanent “arrangement,” and that Paul was subservient to the “apostles and older men” from then on – which, again, is asserting something that is simply not supported by scripture. Paragraph 11 then draws the reader to the following conclusion…
“Notice that those congregations prospered as a result of their loyal cooperation with the governing body in Jerusalem. Is that not proof of Jehovah’s blessing on the arrangement by means of which his Son fed the congregations? Let us remember that spiritual prosperity is possible only with Jehovah’s rich blessing.-Prov. 10:22; 1 Cro. 3:6,7.” (w13 7/15 p.18 par.11)
And so, like an accomplished magician, the writer succeeds in duping the reader into drawing two false assumptions: (1) that there was a first century governing body, which there wasn’t (and bible writers were perfectly capable of coming up with their own term in Greek to describe such an arrangement if it existed without the Watchtower adding to the scriptures), and (2) that it was a permanent ongoing arrangement rather than a one-off way of dealing with a particular problem that arose, namely circumcision.
The next paragraph is one of the most intriguing in the magazine, but it serves a very deliberate purpose. It states…
“Thus far we have seen that Jesus followed a pattern when feeding his followers: He fed many through the hands of a few. The channel he used for spiritual feeding was clearly recognizable. After all, the apostles – the original members of the governing body – could provide visible proof of heavenly backing. ‘Through the hands of the apostles many signs and portents continued to occur among the people,’ states Acts 5:12. Hence, there was no reason for those who became Christian to wonder, ‘Who really are the ones through whom Christ is feeding his sheep?’ But by the end of the first century, the situation changed.” (w13 7/15 p.18 par.12)
The paragraphs that follow go on to describe Christianity’s slide into apostasy following the death of the apostles, but rather than allowing ourselves to be swept along by the rhetoric, the true purpose of the above paragraph must be fully recognized. The Society is now trying to make the point, which it repeats more clearly on page 21, that the faithful slave scripture COULD NOT have applied to the apostles because their authority was unmistakable due to their “signs and portents.”


The magazine twice tries to argue that the “faithful slave” could not have applied to the apostles because it was mentioned in the form of a question
Simply put, the Society now argues that, because Matthew 24:45 is written in the form of a question (i.e. “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave…?”), Jesus could not have been referring to his apostles. They say that, because it was so obvious that the apostles were in charge, such a question would be irrelevant. However, as I will argue later in this article, this reasoning is so flawed it is almost laughable.

In reality, all the Society achieves with the above paragraph is to inadvertently remind thinking Witnesses that the Governing Body really has no “visible proof” of their appointment by Christ. Sure, they have an organization that is expanding at an underwhelming annual growth rate of 1.9% (as of 2012), but it is also an organization that imposes the torturous shunning of family members and is increasingly making itself the subject of legal pressure on account of its damaging child abuse policies. The idea that the individual Governing Body members are somehow invisibly hand-picked by Christ is therefore unthinkable – so unthinkable that even the Society evades articulating this idea in print. So where does the Governing Body get its mandate from?

I wish I could answer that question by quoting a series of paragraphs in this magazine through which the Society coherently justifies the Governing Body’s new Pope-like status. Sadly, however, there is no such material to draw from. Nowhere in these study articles is it described how Governing Body members are selected, or how it can be proven that Christ has any role in this process whatsoever. Rather, the mandate for the Governing Body to rule unquestioned over nearly 8 million people apparently hinges on three scriptures:
  1. Christ’s miracle of the loaves and the fishes in Matthew 14
  2. Two chapters in Acts, namely chapters 15 and 16 (a historical narrative about the handling of the circumcision issue by the “apostles and older men”)
  3. The verses in Matthew 24 about the faithful slave – which many argue were intended purely as a parable.
Having established such a shaky foundation for justifying the present Governing Body arrangement in the first three articles, the fourth and final article is left to drive home the message that the Governing Body is to be loyally obeyed without question, because its future approval by Christ is already set in stone. This is underlined by the final words of the second paragraph, which states:
“It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave. Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel.” – Matthew 4:4; John 17:3.
I looked up both scriptures. As you would expect, neither was remotely connected with the faithful and discreet slave.
Who really is the faithful and discreet slave?
It doesn’t take long for the final article to answer the above question, which forms its title. A box is provided at the top of page 22 that spells out the answer succinctly, as follows:
“‘The faithful and discreet slave’: A small group of brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Today, these anointed brothers make up the Governing Body.” (w13 7/15 p.22 box)
This answer is elaborated on in the text beneath, in paragraph 10…
“Who then is the faithful and discreet slave? In keeping with Jesus’ pattern of feeding many through the hands of a few, that slave is made up of a small group of anointed brothers who are directly involved in preparing and dispensing spiritual food during Christ’s presence. Throughout the last days, the anointed brothers who make up the faithful slave have served together at headquarters. In recent decades, that slave has been closely associated with the Governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Note, however, that the word “slave” in Jesus’ illustration is singular, indicating that this is a composite slave. The decisions of the Governing Body are thus made collectively.” (w13 7/15 p.22, par.10)
Having unequivocally assumed such a lofty title, the Governing Body members probably felt that they needed to make some token show of humility. It was noted during the Annual Meeting that, in his talk, David Splane went to great lengths to “sell” the new teaching to the audience by pushing the new understanding of the domestics – now considered to be both anointed christians, and those of the great crowd.


David Splane extols the teaching of the domestics during the Annual Meeting
“And brothers, we LOVE this teaching.” Splane enthused, adding, “We LOVE this idea, because it really truly does dignify the members of the Great Crowd.” Many of us who watched those words being spoken on the slick JW.org promotional video have been left unconvinced. It seems obvious that the “faithful slave” has far more to “love” about this new teaching than the domestics do.

The issue of the domestics is given similar prominence in a section entitled “Who are the domestics?” on pages 22 and 23. A picture is shown at the top of page 23 in which Gerrit Lösch and his wife are seated at a congregation meeting. Gerrit glances inquisitively as a young child answers into the outstretched microphone. The message is unmistakeable. “We are normal, everyday brothers – just like anyone else!” Not everyone will be buying it.
A selection that has already been made
A key reason why the previous teaching regarding the faithful and discreet slave almost served its purpose (to some extent) was that it referred to events in the murky past that nobody could remember, and made assertions that few could authoritatively argue with unless they were prepared to do some research. For example, the Society argued that Jesus selected a Slave in 1919 that had already existed for centuries, and appointed it over all his “belongings.” Therefore, no matter what flaws the organization may now have, the argument could be made that the Slave Class had ALREADY received final approval from Christ – so any perceived flaws were irrelevant.

But now, the teaching is that Christ has YET to finally approve the Governing Body in its role as the composite slave. With this in mind, you would expect the Governing Body members to exercise a bit of humility, and not try to second guess the decision that Christ is due to make in the future during the Great Tribulation when he finally arrives to inspect his slave class. Instead, the Governing Body boldly makes Christ’s decision for him in advance. Note what is said on page 25…
“In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? When Jesus comes for judgment during the great tribulation, he will find that the faithful slave has been loyally dispensing timely spiritual food to the domestics. Jesus will then delight in making the second appointment – over all his belongings.” (w13 7/15 p.25 par.18, bold mine)
I was amazed at the arrogance when reading the above words. One would think that, if they have any true Christ-like humility about them, the Governing Body would say words to the effect of “we will do our best to provide spiritual food, and if Christ is pleased with our efforts when he comes, he promises to appoint us over all his belongings.” Instead, as mentioned, the decision has evidently already been made by the Governing Body on Christ’s behalf that he WILL choose them when he comes.
The scriptures themselves indicate that the appointment over the belongings is not to be considered a foregone conclusion. One is reminded of the very next words in Matthew 24:48-51 (New World Translation)…
“But if ever that evil slave should say in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ and should start to beat his fellow slaves and should eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, and will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his part with the hypocrites. There is where [his] weeping and the gnashing of [his] teeth will be.”
Ironically, the Society addresses this scripture by means of a box on page 24, on the page just before it makes the bold assertion that it WILL be selected. The box begins by discussing the “evil slave” and makes the following statement…
“Was Jesus foretelling that there would be an evil slave class in the last days? No. Granted, some individuals have manifested a spirit similar to that of the evil slave described by Jesus. We would call them apostates, whether they were of the anointed or of the “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) But such ones do not make up an evil slave class. Jesus did not say that he would appoint an evil slave. His words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave.” (w13 7/15 p.24 box)
And so a warning directed at the faithful and discreet slave is cunningly turned into an opportunity to lampoon apostates for “beating their fellow slaves.” Even though the box acknowledges that apostates are not the evil slave, it still leaps on the opportunity to misrepresent and stigmatize those who are guilty of nothing more than disagreeing with the teachings and practices of the Governing Body.
Meanwhile, the Governing Body neatly sidesteps Christ’s warning about the “evil slave.” An unnamed “scholar” makes a brief cameo, and is quoted as saying: “for all practical purposes [the evil slave warning] is a hypothetical condition.” (bold and brackets mine) The writer thus dismisses the entire portion of scripture, declaring further on in the box that the Governing Body “has continued to keep on the watch and to provide nourishing spiritual food.” This part of the discussion is summed up as follows…
“The anointed brothers who together serve as the faithful slave recognize that they are accountable to the Master for the way they care for his domestics. The hearfelt desire of these anointed brothers is to fulfill their responsibility loyally so that they might hear a ‘well done’ from the Master when he finally arrives.” (w13 7/15 p.24 box)
Whatever the Governing Body may profess their “heartfelt desire” to be, they cannot escape the fact that their actions and decisions have caused misery and heartache to countless thousands through their cruel insistence on unscriptural policies such as the shunning of family members.
Jesus said that his followers would be identified by the love they have among themselves (John 13:35), and yet the breaking up of families purely because somebody decides to leave his or her former religion is anything but loving. Those labelled “apostates” and slandered with hate speech merely for daring to disagree with the Governing Body have every reason to think of these men as an “evil slave,” whether such ones still consider themselves Christians or not. It is therefore difficult to fathom how the Governing Body can boldly consider Christ’s approval of their methods to be a foregone conclusion. (Matt. 7:21-23)
More questions than answers
In total there are 23 pages in the four study articles combined. And yet, for all the sleek illustrations, carefully worded paragraphs and prophetic timelines, the magazine leaves key questions regarding the organization’s new doctrines unanswered. Here are just a few…
  • What scripture supports the fact that the “inspection and cleansing work” would take Christ four and a half years (from late 1914 to early 1919)?” (p.11) – Repeatedly the magazine insists that the four and a half years between late 1914 and early 1919 was a period of “inspection and cleansing” by Christ. However, nowhere is any scripture provided to explain why Christ would need this specific length of time to achieve this purpose. Rather, it seems that events in the organization’s history have been taken as the “evidence” – and the scriptures just have to fit around them.

  • The early Bible Students were said to commit an “organizational sin” by ripping out fiercely political pages of this book
    What were the circumstances under which the early Bible Students “gave in to the fear of man?” (p.12) – This statement is found on page 12, but not elaborated on. If you have the time, I would encourage you to do research on this if you haven’t already done so. In a previous article, I explored the events surrounding the publication of the Finished Mystery, and how the Bible Students were ordered by the authorities to tear out pages 247 to 253 of the book – pages that were fiercly political and critical of America’s war effort. This compromise was deemed an “organizational sin.” However, the more you research the ludicrous statements contained in the Finished Mystery, the more you reach the conclusion that Christ would actually have praised the Bible Students for ripping out its pages rather than chastising them for it.
  •  
  • If Russell and his associates were not part of God’s channel (or even the “slave class”) then why did Christ choose only to inspect them in 1914 and not any other Christian denominations? (p.19) – To put this question another way – why would Christ “inspect” one Christian denomination rather than several, or even all of them? If there was nothing special about Russell or his associates, then why did Christ effectively set up camp at Watchtower HQ for four and a half years and “inspect” them over this period? “Cleansing” is one thing, but “inspection” is something altogether different. Inspection is something you do BEFORE you are satisfied of the nature of something. Would it not have made more sense to “inspect” multiple denominations first, choose one of them, and then “cleanse” it accordingly?
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  • There is no scriptural support for the notion that authority can somehow be passed on from one generation to the next
    If all of the original 1919 members of the slave chosen by Christ are now dead, how can it be said that subsequent members of the slave were chosen? – As mentioned in a previous article, a key problem with the “new light” is the question of succession. Previously, the Governing Body claimed that they were merely the representatives of a cloud-like mass of “anointed” ones that has always existed since the time of the apostles. Now, however, they have effectively evaporated this “cloud” and insisted that their appointment came directly from Christ in 1919. But all of the 1919 board of directors are now dead and buried, so how can it be assumed that their position as “faithful slave” was passed on to their successors? The Society has roundly condemned the catholic principle of apostolic succession in their literature – including the Reasoning Book. It is one thing to suggest that Christ came and selected Rutherford and his associates in 1919 (despite the connotations of this, once you look at Rutherford’s character and what they were printing at the time). It is another thing entirely to assume that this status of “the faithful and discreet slave” was somehow passed like a baton to successive generations down through the decades since 1919 based purely on the necessity caused by people dying. No explanation is given as to how this was achieved, other than the suggestion that it “just did” – which is essentially Watchtower’s version of apostolic succession. With this new teaching, Watchtower has become more like the catholic church than it would care to admit.
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  • Why can it be said with certainty that Christ’s original apostles were not at least part of the faithful and discreet slave? (p.21) – This question is posed on page 21 of the magazine, but nowhere is it satisfactorily answered. The only explanation offered is that the “faithful and discreet slave” statement by Jesus was posed in the form of a question, and therefore it couldn’t possibly have applied to the apostles since there was no doubt at all that these ones had Christ’s authority. However, the asking of a question does not necessarily imply doubt. For example, what about “rhetorical questions” where the answer is known before the question is asked? And if it was such a foregone conclusion that the apostles would live up to Christ’s expectations, then why did Jesus go to such lengths to tell Peter to “feed my little sheep” after his resurrection? (John 21:15-19) The article insists that there was “hardly a reason to ask such a question” regarding the apostles, yet recognizing the authority of the apostles as the “faithful slave” was as much a choice for early Christians as it is for Witnesses regarding the Governing Body today. This is highlighted by the fact that some early Christians deviated from the apostles’ leadership. (2 Tim 2:16-18) The Society’s reasoning is thus SO flawed that the question is effectively left unanswered.
  •  

  • It seems that working at World Headquarters in New York is a key criterion for being considered part of the Faithful Slave, even though there is no scriptural basis for this assertion
    Just what is so special about headquarters? (p.22) – According to the new explanation of the faithful slave, it seems that a key identifying feature of a composite slave member is not WHO he is, or even whether he has a heavenly hope or not. What apparently matters is WHERE he happens to work. Nowhere in Christ’s discussion of the slave does it hint that “location, location, location” would be at all important in identifying who the faithful slave is, so how can the organization be so dogmatic in insisting that “headquarters” in New York carries such relevance in making this biblical determination?
  • How can the Governing Body justify insisting that they WILL be appointed by Christ over “all of this belongings” in advance of this event? (p.25) – As discussed above, many sincere Witnesses will be left scratching their heads at the brazenness of the Governing Body in insisting they WILL be appointed by Christ over his belongings before he has even come in judgment. The decision has been effectively snatched out of Christ’s hands, and made for him.
An organization as porous as its teachings
By now you have probably reached the conclusion that most of what is discussed in the four articles of this new magazine either makes no sense at all, or was already covered at the Annual Meeting nearly six months ago – an event at which some 15,000 privileged Witnesses were treated to a glimpse of the “new light” before millions of their brothers around the world.

The Governing Body preferred to receive applause and fanfare at their Annual Meeting than go to any efforts to make sure their “new light” reached the global brotherhood simultaneously
As discussed in a previous article, it took more than a month following the Annual Meeting for news of the “new light” to be finally confirmed on the Society’s official web pages, and nearly two months for this information to be made available in languages other than English. Finally, six months after the information was divulged from a New Jersey platform, the worldwide brotherhood are finally getting to hear about this doctrine in print – a doctrine that carries profound implications regarding the authority of the Governing Body.

No longer are the Governing Body self-appointed representatives of a some obscure cloud of anointed Witnesses that has always existed in some form stretching back to the time of the apostles. They are now self-appointed representatives, not of heaven-bound Christians, but of Christ himself. They answer to no one, not even Christ whom they represent! After all, they have made his decision to appoint them over “all his belongings” for him in advance. Any meaningful evidence to support their claims is deemed irrelevant.
True, it may be that even before this announcement a good number of Witnesses considered the Governing Body to be the faithful and discreet slave, but this would only realistically have been for one (or both) of two reasons: (1) ignorance on the part of individuals regarding Watchtower doctrine, or (2) confusion as a result of the way in which the Governing Body increasingly presented themselves over many years as being synonymous with the Slave Class. The fact that the rhetoric coming down from the Society led many to predict the announcement in advance does not lessen the fact that the new teaching carries profound implications. It consolidates the authority of the Governing Body, and effectively elevates them to Pope-like status.


The leaking of this magazine and other documents proves that more thinking Witnesses are finding the courage to take action
With all this considered, perhaps we learn more from the fact that this magazine has been leaked weeks ahead of its release than from anything contained in its pages. The Watch Tower Society now seems unable to hold water both in terms of its doctrines and in keeping information confidential, as more and more information is leaked by conscientious individuals within the growing ranks of thinking Witnesses.
It is exhilarating to think that so many within the organization are waking from their indoctrination and finding the courage to take risks by getting information like this article into the hands of those who will make use of it. I only hope that this pattern continues, so that more and more true light can shine down on this quirky organization with its dubious history, shady practices and tangled teachings.




Misquotes, Deception and Lies

Jehovah’s Witnesses are told to have complete trust in the information the Governing Body provides them. Examples of numerous misquotes are included in this article, showing that such trust is not warranted.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are utterly convinced that their church’s leadership - the Governing Body - is both trustworthy and unquestionable. They are assured that the information they are provided is well researched, accurate and truthful. Under the heading “Tracing All Things With Accuracy” the 2011 Yearbook states:
“In summary, the Writing Department insists on using only material that is accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details. As a result, “the faithful and discreet slave” can consistently supply spiritual food that brings honor to “the God of truth,” Jehovah.” (p.13)
Witnesses are told to put aside personal opinion regarding Scriptures, but rather have complete confidence in the leaders, as even Jehovah trusts them.
“[A mature Christian] does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and "the faithful and discreet slave.” Watchtower 2001 Aug 1 p.14
“Since Jehovah God and Jesus Christ completely trust the faithful and discreet slave, should we not do the same?” Watchtower 2009 Feb 15 p.27
“We are determined to be loyal to Jehovah and to his organization. This organization has never disappointed us and always gives us an abundance of pure waters of truth from God’s Word.” Watchtower 2011 Jul 15 p.12
External research is not recommended, as the Watchtower supplies all the information required.
“In Jehovah's organization it is not necessary to spend a lot of time and energy in research, for there are brothers in the organization who are assigned to that very thing, …” Watchtower 1967 Jun 1 p.338
“Thus “the Faithful and discreet slave” does not endorse any literature, meetings or websites that are not produced or organized under its oversight. … For those that wish to do extra Bible study and research, we recommend that they explore Insight on the Scriptures…” Kingdom Ministry Sep 2007
With such trust, Witnesses become impervious to the manner in which misinformation is presented. There are many ways of presenting information to mislead others, including total dishonesty, incorrect information, misrepresenting a person's position, misquotes, withholding information, use of ambiguous language and rhetorical fallacies. This article has specific examples of each from within the Watchtower.

Lying

1914 Quotes

The Watchtower has regularly lied about what it said prior to 1914, claiming it correctly predicted the occurrences of 1914, and has held to consistent teachings regarding that date.
Until the 1930's, the Watchtower taught that:
  • The time of the end commenced 1799
  • Jesus presence commenced 1874
  • Jesus' heavenly rule in 1878
"There are two important here that we must not confuse, but clearly differentiate, namely, the beginning of "the time of the end" and of "the presence of the Lord". "The time of the end" embraces a period from A.D. 1799, as above indicated, to the time of the complete overthrow of Satan's empire and the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah. The time of the Lord's presence dates from 1874, as above stated. The latter period is within the first named, of course, and at the latter part of the period known as "the time of the end"." The Harp of God (1921) p.231
"The year A.D. 1878 … clearly marks the time for the actual assuming of power as King of kings, by our present, spiritual, invisible Lord …" Studies in the Scriptures - The Time is At Hand (1911 ed) p.239
Yet it is now stated that the Watchtower "anticipated" Jesus would receive power in 1914.
"By linking the "seven times" of Daniel 4:25 with "the times of the Gentiles", they anticipated that Christ would receive Kingdom power in 1914." Watchtower 1998 Sep 15 p.15
"For over thirty years before that date and for half a century since, Jehovah's witnesses have pointed to the year 1914 as the time for the end of "the appointed times of the nations" and the time in which Christ would begin his Kingdom rule. (Luke 21:24)" Watchtower 1966 Feb 15 p.103
Likewise, it was originally predicted that the end was to occur in 1914, yet now it is wrongfully stated that 1914 was the "start" of the end.
"But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble." Zion's Watch Tower 1894 Jul 15 p.226
"Jehovah's witnesses pointed to the year 1914, decades in advance, as marking the start of "the conclusion of the system of things." Awake! 1973 Jan 22 p.8
1914 was to be the start of the earthly resurrection.
"The beginning of the earthly phase of the Kingdom in the end of A.D. 1914 will, we understand, consist wholly of the resurrected holy ones of olden time-from John the Baptizer back to Abel;-"Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the holy prophets."" Studies In the Scriptures - The Day of Vengeance (1897) p.625
Now they claim their calculations were true.
"He had correctly linked the Gentile Times with the "seven times" mentioned in the book of Daniel. (Dan. 4:16, 23, 25, 32) True to such calculations, 1914 did mark the end of those times and the birth of God's kingdom in heaven with Christ Jesus as king. Just think of it! Jehovah granted his people that knowledge nearly four decades before those times expired." Yearbook 1975 p.37
"Decades before 1914, Jehovah's worshippers declared to the nations that the end of "the appointed times of the nations" would come in that year and that the world would enter into an unequaled period of trouble." Watchtower 2013 Feb 15 p.18
It was not declared that the world would enter the time of trouble in 1914, as the time of trouble was said to have started in 1874.
“…, and the time of trouble, or “day of wrath” which began October 1874 and will end October 1914;… “ Studies in the Scriptures - The Day of Vengeance p.604
Whilst, it is strictly correct that Russell declared the Gentile Times, or "appointed times of the nations", would end in 1914, these statements hide that nothing expected for the end of the Gentile Times came to pass.
Anthony Morris
For more information see Failed 1914 Predictions.
In the 2010 DVD Faith In Action, Anthony Morris, speaking of Russell and the Bible Students, makes the statement:
"The fact that they were able to pinpoint that year [1914] is just phenomenal."
Russell did not originate the interpretation that the Seven Times pinpointed 1914 as the end of the Gentile times. Russell took this teaching from the Second Adventist movement. In 1823, John Aquila Brown published in The Even-Tide that the "seven times" of Daniel 4 were prophetic of 2,520 years, running from the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar's reign in 604 B.C. to 1917 A.D. Barbour later adjusted this to 1914. In 1875, The Herald of the Morning, edited by Barbour, Cogswell and Paton, stated;
"I believe that though the gospel dispensation will end in 1878, the Jews will not be restored to Palestille, until 1881; and that the "times of the Gentiles," viz. their seven prophetic, times, of 2520, or twice 1260 years, which began where God gave all, into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, 606 B.C.; do not end until A.D. 1914; or 40 years from this." The Herald of the Morning 1875 Sep
Impressed with Barbour's prophetic doctrine, Russell joined with him in 1876 and started to promote Barbour's date doctrine, including 1874, 1878 and 1914.

1925

The Watchtower falsely predicted that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were going to be resurrected in 1925. In 1980, the Yearbook quotes from a 1926 Watchtower justifying the failure as just “an expressed opinion.” First, that statement is inaccurate, as from 1918 to 1925 the core Watchtower message was that the new system would commence in 1925, with a series of lectures and the booklet entitled “Millions now Living Will Never Die.” So effectual was the message, that after the predictions of 1925 failed to eventuate, memorial attendance dropped from 90,434 in 1925 to only 17,380 in 1928. (See Watchtower 1960 May 1 p.282 and Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose p.313)
Second, the Yearbook only half quotes the statement, putting a full stop in place of a semicolon. The full quote showed that the return of Abraham and the other Ancients was still being promoted with the phrase, “it is still shortly after 1925.”
Original Quote 1980 Quote


“It was stated in the "Millions" book that we might reasonably expect them to return shortly after 1925, but this was merely an expressed opinion; besides it is still shortly after 1925. There is no good reason why we should expect the ancient worthies to return until the church is complete and the work of the church on earth is done." Watchtower 1926 p.196
"Indicative of this testing was the question meeting held by Brother Rutherford during the Basel, Switzerland, assembly, which took place May 1-3, 1926. The report on this convention stated:
Question: Have the ancient worthies returned?
Answer: Certainly they have not returned. No one has seen them, and it would be foolish to make such an announcement. It was stated in the "Millions" book that we might reasonably expect them to return shortly after 1925, but this was merely an expressed opinion." Yearbook 1980 p.62

Naos

Revelation 7:9-17 and 19:1 show that the great crowd are in heaven. However, the Watchtower is determined to show they will be on earth. Since Revelation 7:15 states that the great crowd are in the temple sanctuary (naos), where only the priests could enter, the Watchtower resorts to lying in order to convince followers that naos could include the outer courtyards.
"For example, in the Bible account of where Jesus Christ drove the money changers and merchantmen out of Herod's temple, the original Greek word used is na.os'." Watchtower 1980 Aug 15 p.15
This is a lie. None of the Scriptures discussing where Jesus drove the money changers from use the word naos, they use the word hieron, which includes the outer courtyards. See John 2:14-15, Matthew 21:12 and Mark 11:15 in the The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.

Worship Jesus

Jehovah’s Witnesses must not worship Jesus. Yet this has only been the case since 1954, as originally Witnesses worshipped both Jehovah and Jesus. Interestingly, the Watchtower Charter stated Jesus was to be worshipped up until it was finally amended in 1999. For 45 years, Witnesses were counselled against worshipping Jesus, even though in the Charter to do so was stated as the express reason for the existence of the Watchtower Society. To deal with this discrepancy, the Watchtower resorted to misquoting the Charter.
The Charter stated:
"for public Christian worship of Almighty God and Christ Jesus; to arrange for”
The Yearbook of 1969 p.50 leaves the words "and Christ Jesus" out, replacing them with dots.
"for public Christian worship of Almighty God; to arrange for”
The Watchtower 1971 p.760 replaces the word “and” with “through”, to significantly hide and change the true meaning of the sentence.
"for public Christian worship of Almighty God [through] Christ Jesus; to arrange for" Watchtower 1971 Dec 15 p.760
The 1993 Proclaimers book, which is a history of the Watchtower Society, fails to even mention what is in this important document.

Russell's Biography

It has been written that there was never a biography about Russell, so as not to take glory from Jehovah.
"But, is it true you have never published a biography of Pastor Russell? …

That's right. Jehovah's witnesses admire the qualities he possessed as a man, but were we to give the honor and credit to Pastor Russell, we would be saying that the works and success were his; but Jehovah's witnesses believe it is God's spirit that guides and directs his people." Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose (1959) p.63
This is not true, as the Proclaimers book tells us that there was a biography.
"A brief biography of Russell along with his will and testament was published in The Watch Tower of December 1, 1916, as well as in subsequent editions of the first volume of Studies in the Scriptures." Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom p.64

20th Century

The Watchtower re-wrote history when changing what it must have recognised would become an embarrassing failure, when changing the wording of the original printed magazine to what it included in the bound volume. The Watchtower 1989 Jan 1 p.12 indicated that Armageddon would arrive within the twentieth century, stating :
"He was laying a foundation for a work that would be completed in our 20th century."
When printed in the 1989 Watchtower bound volume and the subsequent Watchtower CD library, this was changed from "in our 20th century" to "in our day."
watchtower magazine - in our 20th century watchtower 1989 jan 1 page 12 Bound Volume - in our day
This is ingenious, as it provided Witnesses reading the magazine with false hope and motivation, yet in the future those researching would not be able to say the Watchtower was wrong. Printed prior to the mainstream internet, it could never have been expected that more than a few would ever become aware of the switch.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism carries inherent risks. At one level there is the potential that the information being copied is inaccurate, at the other it can be an illegal breaking of copyright.
It is important to note that the majority of Watchtower doctrine comes from other sources. For instance, the date teachings of Russell, including 1914, were from the nineteenth century Adventist movement. Rutherford introduced the idea in Watchtower literature that Jesus did not die on a cross, but this was an idea that at the time was being promoted by some Protestant Preachers, such as E.W. Bullinger. The arguments in the Creation book have been taken from Creationist books, including the misapplication of science quotes. If the information is correct and properly referenced, then it is not an issue what the source was, but Witnesses should be realistic that doctrine is not magically revealed to the leaders by Holy Spirit.
Images in the Watchtower have also landed the Watchtower in trouble. According to one illustrator from Bethel, it was common for some artists to source and copy pictures from magazines.
One of the more illegal examples was the cover of the Watchtower 1982 Sep 15. During 1981 and 1982, the following Johnny Walker advertisement appeared in magazines such as the U.S. News and World Report 29 Jun 1981 and certain editions of Reader’s Digest Sep 1982 page 37. The Watchtower plagiarised the advertisement, with slight alterations for the cover of the Watchtower 1982 Sep 15.
    
On becoming aware of this violation of copyright, the distributor of Johnny Walker, Somerset Importers, contacted the Watchtower. It was agreed to change future printings, including in the Bound volume and foreign editions.
    
The new cover was changed to a grove of trees against a mountain.

Not only did the Watchtower break copyright, but they have been less than forthright with readers enquiring about the change, who have been advised it was for “a more appropriate and suitable illustration…” If an enquirer was unaware about the copyright issue, they must have been left wondering what was inappropriate about the sunset.

An unfortunate example appears in the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. This was released when I was a teenage boy, and I fondly remember the picture on page 93. The woman was so beautiful that I could clearly understand the temptation that the angels must have felt whilst looking down upon the earth. What I did not know at the time was that this woman was a real person, Pascale Petit, who appeared in Playboy November 1963 and some raunchy movies, such as the European sex comedy Frau Wirtin hat auch einen Grafen. The inclusion of this picture in the Live Forever book was a potential copyright infringement, as the image of Pascale Petit was taken directly from the cover of the 13th August 1961 German magazine Stern.
   Live Forever page 93 Stern woman from You Can Live Forever page 93       Woman Stern Magazine
A further example of Watchtower copying other sources is the Bible Stories book, with several illustrations closely resembling images from The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell (Review and Herald Publishing Association 1955).
           

Baptism

The 2005 book What Does the Bible Really Teach, page 183 makes the comment;
"… you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans, or an organization. Your dedication and baptism are the beginning or a very close friendship with God-an intimate relationship with him."
In actual fact, Jehovah's Witnesses do make a dedication and baptism to an organisation. The second baptism question is;
"Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah's Witnesses in association with God's spirit-directed organization?" Watchtower 1985 Jun 1 p.30
The Watchtower used to abide by the Biblical procedure outlined at Matthew 28:19 of baptising in the name of the Father, Son and holy spirit, but in 1985 holy spirit was replaced with God's spirit-directed organization, as discussed at Changing Baptism Arrangement.

Blaming Members

The Watchtower made definitive statements that this worldly system would end in 1914 and 1925 and strong implications regarding 1975. Yet following the failure of these predictions, it claimed the fault was that of faithful members.
Regarding 1914:
“There is no doubt that many throughout this period were overzealous in their statements as to what could be expected. Some read into the Watch Tower statements that were never intended.” Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose p.52
Regarding 1925:
Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything.” Watch Tower 1926 p.232
Regarding 1975:
“If anyone has been disappointed through not following this line of thought, he should now concentrate on adjusting his viewpoint, seeing that it was not the word of God that failed or deceived him and brought disappointment, but that his own understanding was based on wrong premises.” Watchtower 1976 Jul 15 p.441

African Watchtower Story

The Yearbook 1976 p.71 discusses Elliot Kenan Kamwana, the Watchtower's first representative in Nyasaland, Africa from the early 1900's.
"After 1906, Booth was strongly influenced by Millennialism, … he strongly influenced Elliot Kenan Kamwana, the first leader of the Watchtower followers of Charles Taze Russell in Nyasaland." Yearbook 1976 pp.70-71
In 1909 the Watchtower contained an article titled "Good Tidings Spreading in Africa", which discussed the work of Kamwana in Nyassalan.
"They are overjoyed at having the same message brought here which they have heard was being proclaimed up in their home country, Nyassaland, by Brother Elliott Kamwana. … Brother Elliot Kamwana was arrested and deported by the government at the instigation of the Calvinistic Scotch missionaries of Bandwe, Lake Nyasa, who were greatly surprised that their work of years could be so quickly lifted to the higher plane of our teaching. … Brother Kamwana baptized 9,126 in past year." Watch Tower 1909 Jul 1
The followers that Kamwana managed to convert became known as members of "The Watchtower Movement". However, many of the followers continued with pagan practices and polygamy, and were involved in a later uprising. In 1948, the Watchtower released a booklet called The Watchtower Story in an attempt to distance itself from this group. The booklet dishonestly said:
"It should be particularly noted that the "native rising" took place in 1915. The Watch Tower Bible And Tract Society had no resident representative in Nyasaland or the Rhodesias prior to 1925." The Watchtower Story p.6 Click to download

War

The Watchtower makes the extreme statement:
"Who are no part of the world and learn war no more? Again, the historical record of the 20th century testifies: only Jehovah's Witnesses." Watchtower 1992 Apr 1 p.12
There are a number of pacifist and neutral religions that do not go to war, such as Quakers, Christadelphians, Worldwide Church of God and Anabaptists. Some Pacifists go further than Witnesses in their avoidance of war by even refusing to pay the "War Tax" component of income tax in the United States.

Splinter Groups

“Third, unlike the Protestant movement, which has splintered into hundreds of denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained a united global brotherhood.” Watchtower 2009 Nov 1 p.19
Surely, Jehovah's Witnesses are aware of enough of their history to know of the Russellites and Bible Student groups that broke away, particularly following Russell's death, though these groups would claim Rutherford broke away from the true religion as set up by Russell.
It may be said that the quote was referring to Jehovah's Witnesses specifically since the official name was chosen in 1931, rather than the Jehovah's Witnesses that have existed since Adam (Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose p.8), or possibly when the Governing Body is said to have been chosen in 1919, but even that is not true. New sects have been constantly forming. In Romania, one group of Witnesses spent decades isolated during communism, with access primarily to Rutherford's works. On gaining freedom, they were offended at the many doctrinal changes in recent Watchtower publications, and set up The True Faith Jehovah's Witnesses. Since the Internet, there have been many small splinter groups starting.
Some Breakaway sects with active websites, as of 12 Feb 2013 include:

Light gets Brighter


In order to justify that the Watchtower teaches truth, despite constant doctrinal changes, the idea of the “light gets brighter” is invoked. New doctrine does not contradict but clarifies old doctrine. The progression of doctrine is described as tacking, moving from side to side but ever forward.
“Of course, such development of understanding, involving “tacking” as it were, has often served as a test of loyalty for those associated with the “faithful and discreet slave.” However, progress is being made continually toward fuller appreciation of the “good news” and all that it means.” Watchtower 1981 Dec 1 p.31
This is not the case in many doctrinal changes, where the doctrine has gone back and forth between two or more interpretations. Recent examples regard the “generation” and “faithful and discreet slave.” In such cases, the new doctrine is presented as new light, without revealing that they are going back to a previous teaching.
For instance, the Watchtower used to teach that the Superior Authorities of Romans 13:1 were Governments. In 1929, this was changed to being Jehovah and Jesus. In 1962, this went back to being Governments. Yet when discussing this topic, Watchtower publications, such as Watchtower 1990 Nov 1 p.11 and Jehovah's Witnesses - Proclaimers of God's Kingdom pp.146-147, present the 1962 change as “progressive” or “increased” light, failing to mention that they were returning to “old light.”

Mis-quoting Sources

Blood Transfusions

The Watchtower employs a range of methods to convince members that blood transfusions are unsafe. This is such an important topic, due to ongoing lives being lost, that it is recommended to consider the information at Blood Transfusions, and also Jehovah's Witnesses, Blood Transfusion, and the Tort of Misrepresentation by Kerry Louderback-Wood.
One outstanding misquote regards the risk of refusing a transfusion for renal transplantation. Not only is a full stop added, but the quote hides the context that shows a significant increase in death rate for Jehovah's Witness renal transplant patients with anaemia.
“The overall results suggest that renal transplantation can be safely and efficaciously applied to most Jehovah’s Witnesses.” How Can Blood Save Your Life? p.16
The full quote is:
"Jehovah Witnesses had an increased susceptibility to rejection episodes. The cumulative percentage of incidence of primary rejection episodes was 77 percent at three months in Jehovah’s Witnesses versus 44 percent at 21 months in the matched control group. The consequence of early allograft dysfunction from rejection was particularly detrimental to Jehovah’s Witness who developed severe anemia (hemoglobin (Hgb)* 4.5 per cent) – two early deaths occurred in the subgroup with this combination. The overall results suggest that renal transplantation can be safely and efficaciously applied to most Jehovah Witness patients but those with anemia who undergo early rejection episodes are a high-risk group relative to other transplant patients."
Misleading comments are made such as that erythropoietin (EPO) can help a patient "form replacement red cells very quickly”, “three to four times faster than normal.” (How Can Blood Save Your Life? p.15) A reader quite likely would think "very quickly" means hours or days, yet "EPO can take four or more weeks to begin to relieve some of the symptoms of anaemia." (myeloma.org.uk Erythropoietin Infosheet Oct 2011)
The information supplied in How Can Blood Save Your Life? also attempts to create unrealistic fear of the risks of blood transfusion. For instance, page 11 quotes from The New York Times July 18 1989 that "A panel of health officials … [all] answered no" to accepting blood from a person who tested positive for Lyme disease. What is not stated is that there have never been any "cases of Lyme disease … linked to blood transfusion …." (http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/ as of 22 Apr 2013)

607 B.C.E.

The year 607 B.C. is pivotal to Jehovah's Witnesses, as it is the foundation for calculating 1914 as the start of the Last Days. This topic is so detailed that it warrants its own discussion at 607 - 1914 - Last Days. Relevant to this article is that while the Watchtower says Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C., virtually every other source, including encyclopaedias, historians and scholars, state that Jerusalem fell in either 587 B.C. or 586 B.C.
To arrive at the spurious date of 607 B.C., the Watchtower needs to re-work the dates for other significant events, also without any historical support. For this reason, the Watchtower has resorted to misrepresenting quotes to make it appear its date system is correct. For example, in the following quote the Insight Book inserts the year 624 B.C.E. as the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar. Though done correctly by use of [ ], the reader is left with the impression this date is supported by the original source.
"In this his accession year he returned to Hattu, and "in the month Shebat [January-February, 624 B.C.E.] he took the vast booty of Hattu to Babylon." (Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, by A. K. Grayson, 1975, p. 100)" Insight on the Scriptures - Volume 2 p.480
However, on checking Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles, Grayson does not use the date of 624 B.C., but rather on page 19 gives the accession date as 605 B.C.

Education

The Watchtower discourages advanced education. The following quote contains a number of flaws in how information should be presented.
“Of this important library of books, Phelps added: "Our ideas, our wisdom, our philosophy, our literature, our art, our ideals, come more from the Bible than from all other books put together. … I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible." Awake! 2000 Dec 22 p.3
This quote encapsulates the misleading way the Watchtower commonly includes quotes.
First, no source for the quote is provided, so it is difficult and time consuming to verify. It turns out to be from the Encyclopedia of Sermons and that Phelps was a nineteenth century preacher. Such information is important in understanding the purpose and bias of such a comment. More importantly, the quote misrepresents the intention of Phelps' sentence, by the use of "…" to hide the first part of the quote;
"I thoroughly believe in a university education for both men and women', said Dr. William Lyon Phelps of Yale University, 'but I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without the Bible. Every one who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible may truly be called educated, and no other learning or culture, no matter how extensive or elegant, can form a proper substitute.'" (Encyclopedia of Sermon Illustrations)
In context we have a preacher recommending university, yet the Watchtower presents the quote in such manner to make it appear Phelps is downplaying the value of advanced education.

Cross

There is a volume of evidence that Jesus died on a Cross. (See Cross or Stake.) Since there is little evidence to support their theory that Jesus died on a stake, the Watchtower has resorted to misquoting.
The Imperial Bible-Dictionary is partially quoted to make it appear that stauros must mean a stake. By partial quoting, it hides critical information that stauros was being used to refer to a cross in the first century.
"The Greek word rendered "cross" in many modern Bible versions ("torture stake" in NW) is stau·ros´. In classical Greek, this word meant merely an upright stake, or pale. Later it also came to be used for an execution stake having a crosspiece. The Imperial Bible-Dictionary acknowledges this, saying: "The Greek word for cross, [stau·ros´], properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling [fencing in] a piece of ground. . . . Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole."-Edited by P. Fairbairn (London, 1874), Vol. I, p. 376." Reasoning from the Scriptures p.89
Ellipses (…) are used to change the meaning of this quote. The full quote is:
"The Greek word for cross, (stauros), properly signified a stake, an upright pole, or piece of paling, on which anything might be hung, or which might be used in impaling (fencing in) a piece of ground. But a modification was introduced as the dominion and usages of Rome extended themselves through Greek-speaking countries. Even amongst the Romans, the crux (from which the word cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole, and always remained the more prominent part. But from the time that it began to be used as an instrument of punishment, a traverse piece of wood was commonly added: not however always then.
… There can be no doubt, however, that the later sort was the more common, and that about the period of the Gospel Age, crucifixion was usually accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood.
… But the commonest form, it is understood, was that in which the upright piece of wood was crossed by another near the top, but not pricisely at it, the upright pole running above the other, thus "a cross" and so making four, not merely two right angles. It was on a cross of this form, according to the general voice of tradition, that our Lord suffered.
… It may be added that crucifixion was abolished around the time of Constantine, in consequence of the sacred associations which the cross had now gathered around it." The imperial Dictionary p.376
The Imperial Dictionary shows that crosses were the prominent form of execution in Jesus day, and it was Constantine that put an end to them, quite the opposite of what the Watchtower used the quote for.
The 16th century De Cruce Liber Tres by Justus Lipsius is misrepresented in a different way. The Appendix to the 1950 and 1969 editions of The New World Translation and the Kingdom Interlinear reproduces a woodcut illustration by Lipsius of a stake, stating, "This is the manner in which Jesus was impaled", giving the distinct impression that Lipsius supports Jesus death on a stake. A 1980 Watchtower article attempts to give the same impression that Lipsius supported a stake.
"Whether the wooden sculpture is the work of the 16th-century artist Michelangelo or not, it illustrates that the impalement of Christ on a cross frame has not always been so certain as Christendom’s leaders today would have people believe. For example, the 16th-century Roman Catholic scholar Justus Lipsius illustrated impalement on an upright stake in his book “De Cruce Liber Primus.” This fits the meaning of the Greek word used in the Bible to describe the impalement of Christ." Watchtower 1980 Feb 15 p.30
This misrepresents Lipsius, who taught that Jesus died on a cross. His book included a total of 16 woodcuts, 9 depicting various forms of crucifixion. Under one of the crucifixion woodcuts is inscribed in Latin with, "In the Lord's cross there were four pieces of wood, the upright beam, the crossbar, a tree trunk placed below, and the title placed above."
The Watchtower also draws on unreliable sources for support. The Reasoning Book on page 89 goes on to quote "The book The Non-Christian Cross, by John Denham Parsons" for support that Jesus did not die on a stake. Yet John Parsons was a Skeptic who also wrote Our Sun-God: Or Christianity before Christ, trying to prove a connection between Jesus and the Egyptian God Horus, and was a member of the Society for Psychical Research to promote information on psychics and the paranormal. The research provided by Parsons regarding crux is flawed. For instance, he quotes Livy as using crux to mean stake (Livy, xxviii. 29) but was mistaken. Livy used the word palus not crux in this passage - "Bound to a stake (deligati ad palum) they were scouraged and beheaded" (28.29.11). Parsons also quotes Lucian saying Jesus was "fastened to a skolops;" (De Morte Peregrini) and claims Lucian used skolops to mean a single piece of wood. Yet this too is wrong, as Lucian uses the same verb anaskolopizoó in Lis Consonantium, 12 to refer to crucifixion on a two-beamed stauros.

Trinity Brochure

The worst example of dishonesty amongst Watchtower literature regards the Trinity. When attacking the Trinity doctrine, the Watchtower resorts to a multitude of deceptive tactics, including the straw man technique of misdefining the Trinity, misquoting sources, and presenting specifically false information.
The doctrine of the Trinity is that there are "three persons in one God". At times, the Watchtower uses the straw man technique of misdefining the Trinity doctrine as "three Gods in one", such as in the following quote, so as to attack this incorrect definition.
"The disgusting idolatry of the religions of Christendom and pagandom has been set aside by Jehovah's restored people. Their worship is not distributed to three gods in one, the so-called godhead of some mysterious Trinity, but they are united as the one people who worship the one God, Jehovah. Watchtower 1984 Mar 1 p.23
When discussing the Trinity, they have almost never mentioned the concept of economic and ontological equality, yet this is key to understanding the Trinity. Nor do they discuss Modalism, which is an alternate doctrine about the nature of God that is believed by many Pentecostals. Watchtower discussion melds Trinitarian and Modal concepts into one, and then attacks the inaccurate hybrid straw man that they themselves have created.
The Watchtower also presents the history of the Trinity incorrectly, attempting to lead its followers to believe the Trinity did not develop until centuries after Jesus, and under pressure from Constantine. Should You Believe in the Trinity? p.7 states "… history makes clear that the Trinity was unknown throughout Biblical times and for several centuries thereafter." It goes on to make the inaccurate claim that the Antenicene fathers, including Justin Martyr, Iraneaus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Origen were against the Trinitarian concept, yet each of these people had an instrumental part in the development on the Trinity. Page 5 claims "this is no proof in itself that Tertullian taught the Trinity." Yet Tertullian stated;
"The connection of Father and Son, of Son and the Paraclete [Holy Spirit] makes three who cohere in a dependent series. And these three are one thing; not one person." (Against Praxeas ch.25)
"The Son of God is identical with God. The Spirit of God is God." (Against Praxeas ch.26)
See The Watchtower and the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers by Michael J. Partyka for an in-depth article with full source quotes of the partial quotes used in the Watchtower brochure Should you Believe the Trinity. In each case it is readily apparent that the Watchtower Society has distorted what the early Church Fathers were attempting to say.
Should You Believe in the Trinity? also makes classic use of ellipses to hide words like "but", "however" and "therefore" in order to twist the point being made by the source. Quotations are only partially referenced, making it difficult and time consuming to locate the original quote for verification purposes. The following partial Watchtower quotes are compared with the original quote to highlight how significantly the Watchtower is prepared to misrepresent sources to convince followers of their viewpoint.
Source Trinity Brochure Full Quote
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethic, James Hastings, Trinity, p.461 "At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian . . . It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the N[ew] T[estament] and other early Christian writings."-Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. (ti pp. 6-7) "At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian in the strictly ontological reference."
The Triune God, Edward Fortman "Jesuit Fortman states: "The New Testament writers . . . give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. . . . Nowhere do we find any trinitarian doctrine of three distinct subjects of divine life and activity in the same Godhead."" (ti p.6) "They give us no formal or formulated doctrine of the Trinity, no explicit teaching that in one God there are three co-equal divine persons. But they do give us an elemental trinitarianism, the data from which such a formal doctrine of the Triune God may be formulated. "
The Encyclopedia Americana "The Encyclopedia Americana notes that the doctrine of the Trinity is considered to be 'beyond the grasp of human reason." (ti p.4) "It is held that although the doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason, it is, like many of the formulations of physical science, not contrary to reason, and may be apprehended (though it may not be comprehended) by the human mind".
The Catholic Encyclopedia (newadvent.org /cathen/ 15047a.htm 21/12/2006) "The Catholic Encyclopedia also comments: "In Scripture there is as yet no single term by which the Three Divine Persons are denoted together. The word ????? [tri´as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. . . . Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian."" (ti p.5) "The word [tri'as] (of which the Latin trinitas is a translation) is first found in Theophilus of Antioch about A. D. 180. He speaks of "the Trinity of God [the Father], His Word and His Wisdom" ("Ad. Autol.", 11, 15, P. G., VI, 1078). The term may, of course, have been in use before his time. Shortly afterwards it appears in its Latin form of trinitas in Tertullian."
Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity The Catholic work Trinitas-A Theological Encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity, for example, notes that some of Tertullian's words were later used by others to describe the Trinity. Then it cautions: "But hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology." (ti pp.5-6) "The great African fashioned the Latin language of the Trinity, and many of his words and phrases remained permanently in use: the words Trinitas and persona, the formulas 'one substance in three persons,' 'God from God, light from Light.' He uses the word substantia 400 times, as he uses consubstantialis and consubstantivus, but hasty conclusions cannot be drawn from usage, for he does not apply the words to Trinitarian theology."
New Catholic Encyclopedia - p.306 "And the New Catholic Encyclopedia also says: "And the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the O[ld] T[estament]."" (ti p.6) "The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not taught in the OT. In many places of the OT however, expressions are used in which some of the Fathers of the Church saw references or foreshadowings of the Trinity ."
Origin and Evolution of Religion "Yale University professor E. Washburn Hopkins affirmed: "To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; . . . they say nothing about it."-Origin and Evolution of Religion." (ti p.6) "The beginning of the doctrine of the Trinity appears already in John (c.100 AD.") To Jesus and Paul the doctrine of the trinity was apparently unknown; at any rate they say nothing about it."

Creation Book

The 1985 Creation book (Life - How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?) is another epic presentation of false information, receiving similar treatment as the Trinity brochure. Evolutionary theory is mis-represented, Creationists are put forward as Scientists, and Scientists are quoted out of context. At times, a scientific article will state a problem, which the article then addresses with a proposed solution. The Creation book will quote the problem as if is it an unsolved confession from a scientist, such as the quote that follows from Gould and Eldredge, neglecting to advise that the article addresses the problem.

Following are quotations from Life - How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation? (1985), along with a comparison to the source. Many have been sourced by Jan Haugland, 2006 Feb 15.
Creation Book Original Quote and Comments
Page 15


"The scientific magazine Discover put the situation this way: "Evolution ... is not only under attack by fundamentalist Christians, but is also being questioned by reputable scientists. Among paleontologists, scientists who study the fossil record, there is growing dissent from the prevailing view of Darwinism.""
James Gorman, "The Tortoise or the Hare?", Discover, October 1980, p. 88:

"Charles Darwin's brilliant theory of evolution, published in 1859, had a stunning impact on scientific and religious thought and forever changed man's perception of himself. Now that hallowed theory is not only under attack by fundamentalist Christians, but is also being questioned by reputable scientists. Among paleontologists, scientists who study the fossil record, there is growing dissent from the prevailing view of Darwinism.... Most of the debate will center on one key question: Does the three-billion-year-old process of evolution creep at a steady pace, or is it marked by long periods of inactivity punctuated by short bursts of rapid change? Darwin's widely accepted view -- that evolution proceeds steadily, at a crawl -- favors the tortoise. But two paleontologists, Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History and Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, are putting their bets on the hare.""
Page 20:


"In fact now, after more than a century of collecting fossils, "we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time," explained the Bulletin." "
"Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology", Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin Jan. 1979, Vol. 50 No. 1 p. 22-29.

This quote from David Raup is taken out of context, as the paper was not about the fossil record's evidence of common decent, but whether the mechanism of natural selection at the level of species is shown in the fossil record. On page 22, Raup had prefaced his comment with, "We must distinguish between the fact of evolution -- defined as change in organisms over time -- and the explanation of this change. Darwin's contribution, through his theory of natural selection, was to suggest how the evolutionary change took place. The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be."

He goes on to state, "Now with regard to the fossil record, we certainly see change. … If we allow that natural selection works, as we almost have to do, the fossil record doesn't tell us whether it was responsible for 90 percent of the change we see or 9 percent, or .9 percent." (p.26)
Page 18:

Darwin acknowledged this as a problem. For example, he wrote: "To suppose that the eye ... could have been formed by [evolution], seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, p. 133:

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory."
Page 39:

"At this point a reader may begin to understand Dawkins' comment in the preface to his book: "This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction.""
Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 1976, p.ix:

"This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction. It is designed to appeal to the imagination. But it is not science fiction: it is science. Cliché or not, "stranger than fiction" expresses exactly how I feel about the truth."
Page 42:

"Richard Dickerson explains: "It is therefore hard to see how polymerization [linking together smaller molecules to form bigger ones] could have proceeded in the aqueous environment of the primitive ocean, since the presence of water favors depolymerization [breaking up big molecules into simpler ones] rather than polymerization.""


The quote is from Scientific American, September 1978, p. 75. The purpose and content of the article goes on to address how polymerisation may have occurred.
Page 89:



"Fossil hunter Donald Johanson acknowledged: "No one can be sure just what any extinct hominid looked like.""
Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey, Lucy -- the Beginnings of Humankind, New York: Warner Books, Inc, 1981, p. 286.

"No one can be sure what any extinct hominid looked like with its skin and hair on. Sizes here are to scale, with afarensis about two feet shorter than the average human being."
Page 143:


"Zoologist Richard Lewontin said that organisms "appear to have been carefully and artfully designed." He views them as "the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer." It will be useful to consider some of this evidence."



This quote is a shocking twist of the writers intent and vastly changes the meaning of what Lewontin said.
Richard C. Lewontin, "Adaptation", Scientific American, vol. 239, September 1978, p. 213:

"The manifest fit between organisms and their environment is a major outcome of evolution.... Life forms are more than simply multiple and diverse, however. Organisms fit remarkably well into the external world in which they live. They have morphologies, physiologies and behaviors that appear to have been carefully and artfully designed to enable each organism to appropriate the world around it for its own life. It was the marvelous fit of organisms to the environment, much more than the great diversity of forms, that was the chief evidence of a Supreme Designer. Darwin realized that if a naturalistic theory of evolution was to be successful, it would have to explain the apparent perfection of organisms and not simply their variation."
Page 15:

"Francis Hitching, an evolutionist and author of the book The Neck of the Giraffe, stated: "For all its acceptance in the scientific world as the great unifying principle of biology, Darwinism, after a century and a quarter, is in a surprising amount of trouble.""

The Bible - God's Word or Man's? p.106 describes Hitching as a "scientist" and "authority". He is also quoted in the Watchtower 1994, 1990 and Awake 1994.
Hitching is a favourite for quotes by Creationists. The Creation book quotes his book Neck of the Giraffe 13 times. However, he has no scientific credentials, which he lies about in his book, as discussed at Hitching 12 Fe 2013). He is a paranormalist, and his book Earth Magic describes his belief in pyramid energy, astrology, ESP, dowsing and psychic research. The criticism of evolutionary theory in Neck of the Giraffe is used to advance his own theory regarding paranormal forces directing evolution. He is in no way a credible source, yet the Watchtower uses him as one of their primary sources of information in the Creation book.
Pages 36-37:

"The science of mathematical probability offers striking proof that the Genesis creation account must have come from a source with knowledge of the events. The account lists 10 major stages in this order: [...] Science agrees that these stages occurred in this general order. What are the chances that the writer of Genesis just guessed this order? The same as if you picked at random the numbers 1 to 10 from a box, and drew them in consecutive order. The chances of doing this on your first try are 1 in 3,628,800! So, to say the writer just happened to list the foregoing events in the right order without getting the facts from somewhere is not realistic."
This section of the Creation book is terrible at several levels.

First, scientists do not agree with the order of creative days in Genesis. Scientists say the source of light, the sun, was before the earth. Also, science lists the order of animal evolution as fish, reptiles, birds; not fish, birds, reptiles/animals. At least two of the days are out of order.

Second, there are two creation stories in Genesis, with the order in Genesis 2 differing from the the order of creation in Genesis 1. The Creation book does not clarify which story it claims Scientists agree with, and science agrees with neither.

Third, it cannot be equated to the simple probability of drawing the numbers 1 to 10 from a box. Even the simplest person would assume that the sun and earth were first. The earth is a prerequisites for containing the water, plants and animals. Light and water must precede plants, which die without them. Plants must have been created before animals, birds and fish, whom depend on plants as food. Therefore simple logic will put most of the creative days in the correct order, significantly reducing the chances of an agreement with science to well below one in over 3 million.
The Creation book was replaced in 2010 by The Origin of Life - Five Questions Worth Asking and Was Life Created? These are of similarly poor quality, and the document Weighed and Found Wanting shows how both misrepresent evolution and distort almost every quote included.

Misquoted Scriptures

The Watchtower is also known to misquote Scriptures, such as putting a full stop where there was not one, which changes the true meaning of the verse. The Watchtower concentrates on a select few Scriptures to support their doctrine and by hand picking and quoting catchy portions of Scriptures, the doctrine may seem solid, when it is not. For example, in order to support the concept of soul being non-existent at death, Reasoning From the Scriptures p.100, quotes Ecclesiastes 9:5 as:
“The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all.”
This is misleading, as it adds a full stop, whilst in the Scripture there is a comma. In entirety it states:
"For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten. Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they have no portion anymore to time indefinite in anything that has to be done under the sun."
Ecclesiastes is a poetic work about the vanity of life, and it is not generally taken literally. The aforementioned Scripture cannot be taken as literal, as the sentence continues with the comment that there is no remembrance of the dead. Further, it removes the resurrection hope, stating that the dead “have no portion anymore to time indefinite….” Read in full, the verse only says what the Watchtower wants it to say if they dishonestly add a full stop.
One of the most significant flaws in the New World Translation is the inclusion of the word Jehovah in the New Testament. Of the many thousands of early New Testament fragments, not a single one includes God's name. Including Jehovah means that many Scriptures have their meaning changed.
One Scripture that quite clearly refers to Jesus, Romans 10:13, is changed to Jehovah in the Watchtower Bible.
Romans 10:13 "For "everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.""
This has an important effect, as the Watchtower attempts to use this Scripture to prove that only Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved.
"We stand now at the brink of the greatest tribulation of all, when Jehovah's storm wind will sweep wickedness from the face of this earth, clearing the way for a paradise of eternal peace. Will you be one who "calls on the name of Jehovah" in faithfulness? If so, rejoice! You have God's own promise that you will be saved.-Romans 10:13." Watchtower 1997 Dec 15 p.21
An examination of the Emphatic Diaglott, published by the Watchtower Society shows that the word used in this passage is not YHWH but Kyrios (κύριος) - Lord.
Emphatic Diaglott Romans 10:13 Lord
Just prior to this verse, Romans 10:9 states, "Jesus is Lord (Kurios)". It follows that Romans 10:13 refers to Jesus, and identifies Jesus as the requirement for salvation.
"Do they believe that they are the only ones who will be saved? No. Millions that have lived in centuries past and who were not Jehovah's Witnesses will come back in a resurrection and have an opportunity for life. Many now living may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before the "great tribulation," and they will gain salvation." Jehovah's Witnesses, Who are they? What do they believe?(2002) p.29
Not content with mis-translating the Bible, the Watchtower criticises other religions that don't use the word Jehovah through deceptive quoting of their sources.
"Honor Jehovah's Great Name
By and large, Christendom's churches have distanced themselves from God's name. For example, the Revised Standard Version states in its preface: "The use of any proper name for the one and only God … is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church." Watchtower 2013 Mar 15 p.24
What the Revised Standard Version quote says in full carries a very different meaning.
"For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version: (1) the word "Jehovah" does not accurately represent any form of the Name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom He had to be distinguished, was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church."

Rhetorical Fallacies

A rhetorical fallacy is a line of argumentation that is poorly constructed or misleading, such that the information direct a persons to an incorrect conclusion. Rhetorical Fallacies goes into detail on numerous of these that are to be found in the Watchtower. These are common in everyday conversation and written material, and often unintentional, but it is worth understanding these so as to spot them when they occur.

Unreliable Sources

The Watchtower will refer to unreliable sources, not credible in the field that they are being quoted for. An example is how Hitching is presented as a scientist to highlight flaws in evolution, when in fact he is a paranormalist.
Blanket statements are made regarding what experts have said, without any supporting quote or identification of whom those experts may be. For instance, regarding a global flood, accepted almost universally by scientists are impossible, the Watchtower claims:
"Similar findings have led other scientists to believe that a global flood is a distinct possibility." Watchtower 2008 Jun 1 p.8
Without any information about these scientists, such a statement is meaningless.

10% of the Brain

A similar unsupported comment is that humans only use 10% or less of their brain.
"Neuroscientists say that during our present life span, we use just a small part of our potential brain power, only about 1/10,000, or 1/100 of 1 percent, according to one estimate. Think about it. Is it reasonable that we would be given a brain with such miraculous possibilities if it was never to be used fully? Is it not reasonable that humans, with the capacity for endless learning, were actually designed to live forever?" Awake! 1995 10/22 p.8
Which Neuroscientists make such a claim, as the article fails to produce any? This is in fact an urban myth spanning back to out of date research from the 1800's - see faculty.washington.edu and Ten_percent_of_brain_myth. This myth is seized upon by psychics such as Caroline Myss and Uri Geller to explain their powers. Another similar Watchtower quote is from an advocate of Eastern religion and transcendental meditation.
"In The Brain Book the author states: "Within our own heads lies one of the most complex systems in the known universe. Its power and versatility far surpass that of any man-made computer." He adds: "It is frequently stated that we use only 10 percent of our full mental potential. This, it now appears, is rather an overestimate." Watchtower 1985 Jan 15 pp.16-17
Notice that the name of the author is not mentioned, nor details of the book, other than it's title. I looked it up and the quote comes from page 7, in the chapter "The Spearhead of Evolution", which describes the brain as the "culmination of millions of years of evolution". The author is Peter Russell, and his biography at peterrussell.com (25 Feb 2013) states, "His principal interest is the deeper, spiritual significance of the times we are passing through. He has written several books in this area - The TM Technique, The Upanishads, The Brain Book, The Global Brain Awakens, The Creative Manager, The Consciousness Revolution, Waking Up in Time, and From Science to God." This is hardly a person that the Watchtower should be quoting, as the information is incorrect, and the author has an agenda greatly at odds to that of the Watchtower.
The other issue with the way the Watchtower uses this information is that it is statistically naive. The message is that since we only use 1/100 of 1 percent, we have "the capacity for endless learning," whilst we live forever on earth. If we use 0.01% in 100 hundred years, simple maths would have us using 100% in 1,000,000 years. That is not endless capacity, it is not even a speck in the stream of time of eternity. Eternity is infinitely more time that one million years.

Greber's Bible Translation

Another example has been to use Greber’s The New Testament in support of the Watchtower's New World Translation. In the 1950's, the Watchtower discussed how Greber was a spiritualist and attributed his Bible translation to communication with the spirit world.
"It comes as no surprise that the one Johannes Greber, a former Catholic clergyman, has become a spiritualist and has published the book entitled "Communication with the Spirit World: Its Laws and Its Purpose."" Watchtower 1955 Oct 1 p.603
"Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his translation of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: "I myself was a Catholic priest, and until I was forty-eight years old had never as much believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God's spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication, and experienced things that shook me to the depths of my soul. … My experiences are related in a book that has appeared in both German and English and bears the title, Communication with the Spirit-World: Its Laws and Its Purpose." (Page 15, ¶ 2, 3). In keeping with his Roman Catholic extraction Greber's translation is bound with a gold-leaf cross on its still front cover. In the Foreward of his aforementioned book ex-priest Greber says: "The most significant spiritualistic book is the Bible." Under this impression Greber endeavors to make his New Testament read very spiritualistic. … Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation." Watchtower 1956 Feb 15 pp.110-111
Despite this, Watchtower publications quoted Greber's translation during the 1960's and 1970's for support of its own translation of John 1:1, and Matthew 27:52,53, including in The Word - Who Is He According to John (1962) p.5; Watchtower 1962 Sep 15 p.554; Make Sure of all Things (1965) p.489; Aid to Bible Understanding (1971) p.1669; Watchtower 1975 Oct 15 p.640; and Watchtower 1976 Apr 15 p.231.
Finally, the Watchtower stopped referring to Greber's translation, deceptively indicating that it became aware of Greber's involvement with the spirit world due to a foreword in the 1980 edition of his Bible.
"This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52, 53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on "God's Spirit World" to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: "His wife, a medium of God's Spiritworld was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God's Messengers to Pastor Greber." The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism." Watchtower 1983 Apr 1 p.31

Divorce

The misuse of statistics is common in all forms of media, and the Watchtower furnishes an extreme example of how statistics can be misused. In an attempt to make Witnesses appear to have a lower divorce rate than the general population they state:
"By applying unselfish love in their marriages, Jehovah's Witnesses achieve stable relationships. In some countries one marriage out of every two or three ends in divorce. But the above-mentioned survey indicated that presently only 4.9 percent of the Witnesses are divorced or separated from their mates." Awake 1997 Sep 8 p.11
Here they make it appear the world has a 50% divorce rate, but Witnesses only have a 5% rate. In actual fact, only around 5% of people are divorced. The “percentage of marriages that end in divorce”, and “percentage of people divorced” are two very different measurements. Most studies show that the percentage of Witnesses that are divorced is very similar to that of the general population. See Divorce for a full explanation.

Earthquakes

The Watchtower has been intent on proving that the Last Days started in 1914. One way has been to present information to convince members that the signs of Jesus presence, such as earthquakes, have increased since 1914. Since this is not the case, they have resorted to presenting misleading and dishonest information about earthquakes. One ingenious method has been to quote an external source to verify that there is an increase in earthquakes.
"In the Italian journal Il Piccolo, of October 8, 1978, Geo Malagoli observed: "Our generation lives in a dangerous period of high seismic activity, as statistics show. In fact, during a period of 1,059 years (from 856 to 1914) reliable sources list only 24 major earthquakes causing 1,973,000 deaths. However, [in] recent disasters, we find that 1,600,000 persons have died in only 63 years, as a result of 43 earthquakes which occurred from 1915 to 1978. This dramatic increase further goes to emphasize another accepted fact-our generation is an unfortunate one in many ways."" Watchtower 1983 May 15 p.6 Earthquakes-A Sign of the End?
The Watchtower has withheld information, by not advising readers that the grossly inaccurate figures in Il Piccolo had been taken from its own Awake! magazine.
"Interestingly, for a period of 1,059 years (856 to 1914 C.E.), reliable sources list only 24 major earthquakes, with 1,972,952 fatalities. But compare that with the accompanying partial list citing 43 instances of earthquakes, in which 1,579,209 persons died during just the 62 years from 1915 to 1976 C.E." Awake! 1977 Feb 22 p.11
The Watchtower has also included this seemingly independent Il Piccolo quote in Life How did it get here? By Evolution or by Creation? p.225, and the Watchtower 1983 May 15 p.6.
The same Watchtower article also misquotes Professor Aki, attempting to prove a surge in the frequency of earthquakes.
"Professor Keiiti Aki of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology speaks of "the apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years," though stating that the period from 1500 through 1700 was as active." Watchtower 1983 May 15 p.6
This partial quote from Professor Aki gives the opposite meaning to what he actually said. Aki's full sentence was:
"The apparent surge in intensity and frequency of major earthquakes during the last one hundred years is, in all probability, due to improved recording of earthquakes and the increased vulnerability of human society to earthquake damage. The main reason is the well established plate tectonics which indicates a very steady fault motion over the past many millions of years."
Aki was explaining that earthquake activity has been consistent over millions of years, and the difference has been our ability to record earthquakes since the nineteenth century of seismometer in 1842.

Internal vs External

Most people are unable to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Watchtower religion, because information is released on a right-to-know basis. For instance, there is a soft version of the Watchtower for the public, and a far more controlling and direct study version that is used once a person has progressed to the stage of attending meetings.
Elders have a manual that outlines rules and procedures, some that are not listed elsewhere accessible by the average member. So secret is this information, that when the latest version was released, Letter to Elders, August 23, 2010 stated:
"The information is designed for use by the elders only, and other individuals should not have any opportunity to read the information."
Sisters are not allowed to even bind it under supervision, as directed in the following quote from the Letter to Elders, October 7, 2010:
"There is no objection if an elder personally spiral binds or laminates his own textbook or does so for other elders. If he has another baptized brother who is not an elder do the work for him, the elder must watch while the work is being done. Outside companies, unbelievers, or sisters are not permitted to do this work. The material in the book is confidential, and confidentiality must be preserved."
Much of the information in this book is devoted to the practice of disfellowshipping, information that a person should be made well aware of before any baptism into the religion.
Information highlighted on the Watchtower's official website is also presented in a way to appear far less offensive than the official doctrine really is. For instance, in order to justify the strict stance on shunning and disfellowshipping, the article Always Accept Jehovah's Discipline under the heading "Why Some Are Disfellowshipped" states, "Disfellowshipping takes place only if a member of the congregation unrepentantly engages in gross sin." This is misleading, since there are numerous things a Witness can be disfellowshipped for that cannot be considered a "gross" sin, such as speaking to a disfellowshipped person, smoking, or questioning Watchtower doctrine.
In the article Do You Shun Former Members of Your Religion?, the initial comment that those who no longer preach "are not shunned" is a red herring, as it is referring to a person who is inactive, not a former member as the question clearly states.
"Those who were baptized as Jehovah’s Witnesses but no longer preach to others, perhaps even drifting away from association with fellow believers, are not shunned. In fact, we reach out to them and try to rekindle their spiritual interest.

We do not automatically disfellowship someone who commits a serious sin. If, however, a baptized Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible’s moral code and does not repent, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. The Bible clearly states: “Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”"
The second paragraph is also deceptive, as a person does not just get disfellowshipped for breaking "the Bible's moral code", but also the many Watchtower rules that are not directly outlined in the Bible, and also for disagreeing with Watchtower doctrine. Further, a person that stops their wrongdoing and repents will still be shunned for life, unless they return to the religion and are officially reinstated.
Likewise, misleading information is presented when dealing with the Watchtower's offensive doctrine on salvation. The Watchtower is clear that you must be one of Jehovah's Witnesses to be saved at Armageddon, with billions of people being mercilessly destroyed. Yet notice the ambiguous way in which a Witness is to respond when questioned if only Witnesses will be saved. It is recommended to say NO; even though the explanation shows the answer is yes.
"Do You Feel That You Are the Only People Who Will Be Saved?

No. Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands."
Another misleading statement appears in an Awake! article that discusses how people should not be dissuaded from leaving their religion to join the true religion.
"No one should be forced to worship in a way that he finds unacceptable or be made to choose between his beliefs and his family." Awake! 2009 July p.29
The irony of this quote is that the Watchtower enforces one of the strictest censorships on its own members that change religion, forcing family members to shun former members for the remainder of their lives.
"Really, what your beloved family member needs to see is your resolute stance to put Jehovah above everything else - including the family bond. … Do not look for excuses to associate with a disfellowshipped family member, for example, through e-mail." Watchtower 2013 Jan 15 p.16

Happiest People

Dicto Simpliciter, or Sweeping Generalisations can be a form or rhetorical fallacy. A very simple one is the following comment from the Watchtower.
""Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah!" (Ps. 144:15) Those words describe Jehovah's Witnesses as the happiest people on earth." Kingdom Ministry 2002 p.1
Though this comment appears quite regularly, there is never any evidence presented in the Watchtower to support the statement that Jehovah's witnesses are in fact the happiest people. This type of comment should cause the reader to question what the basis is for such a sweeping statement. In fact, the article Mental Issues looks at studies that have been done into the mental health of Jehovah's Witnesses, and there is every indication that rather than being the happiest people, Witnesses suffer higher levels of mental illness than the general population.

Conclusion

"… really, would you want to be even associated with a religion that had not been honest with you?"
Is This Life All There Is? p.46
This article serves to show that the Watchtower cannot be taken as truthful, let alone the "pure truth" they falsely claim. Despite assurances to the contrary, each detail is not "accurate and truthful, even regarding seemingly insignificant details." (Yearbook 2011 p.13) Not only do errors creep in, but information is included that is specifically deceptive and misleading. As much as the Watchtower leaders encourage otherwise, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses owes it to themselves and their God to verify if the information that they are basing their life on is the truth.
creative commons copyright    Paul Grundy  2005 - 2013 

California court guts child abuse ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses


1 comment:

  1. THE JEW KLUX KAHN
    The greatest demonic forces in the world for quite some time have been Atheists, Jews, Zionists, Televangelists, Satanists, Freemasons and their fanatical followers because of the decadence of Christendom, of the corruption of Christian dogmas, and because of the Muslims who are no more the Nation of Muhammad but that of Satan just like the Christians and the Paulians who worship all kinds of Gods except God ! Both Christians and Muslims have become nations of hypocrites, cowards and greedy materialists. And they hate it, all of them, when they are being told the truth, and I wasted decades of my life fighting a lost battle in advance, but, the fight must go on no matter what!
    BAFS
    Monday 24th of August 2015

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